Many of my fellow Winnipeggers are missing their water these days. Unusually dry ground and extra cold weather have resulted in frozen water pipes for over 1300 homes. Affected people are busy melting snow from back yards, washing their dishes by the bucket load and showering at community centres or in friends’ homes. The need for running water is keeping our Water Workers frantically busy.
Once winter finally releases its icy grip on our land we will give thanks for life giving water in all of our taps again. All of us have a renewed sense of our vulnerability and of the preciousness of water. So the theme of life giving water, of Jesus words about the water of life, are finding a new resonance among us. And, it makes me wonder about how many of our spiritual water pipes are frozen, and about how Lent practices can help thaw those ‘pipes’.
When I first encountered the theme for this third week of Lent, pipes weren’t freezing yet. My associations with the theme went straight to the pool where I like to swim laps in the winter season. I’ve never had trouble floating, but as Lent was beginning, I became more deeply aware of the water holding and supported me as I swam. The hymn lyrics, by R. Deane Postlethwaite in 1978, found in #82 in Sing the Journey, and sung to the familiar tune of Morning has broken came to mind. Whether you are longing for the free flowing waters that will make canoeing possible again, or waiting for your pipes to thaw, may they bless you in this third week of Lent:
Water has held us, moved by creation. Out of dark chaos, broke forth the light. Up from the deluge, showing God’s promise, has come a rainbow, gladdening sight.