Water, Bright as Crystal
Liz Swick of Charleston, WV, USA
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. -Revelation 22:1-2
The image of crystal clear water that begins this passage brought to mind the water crisis that occurred in 2014 in West Virginia, USA, when chemicals were spilled into the Elk River, affecting the water supply of some 300,000 residents in nine counties. We were not to use the water for anything, and bottled water quickly sold out everywhere. An unpleasant black licorice smell hung in the air.
The National Guard quickly responded to the state of emergency with plenty of free, clean water for everyone. The impact lasted a couple of weeks and affected the livelihood of many. It temporarily changed how the community interacted. Emotions were surprisingly high. In many ways, we became more hospitable toward each other as we grew to understand the importance of our water source and learned not to take for granted this basic need that we all share.
The Kingdom of God described in this passage envisions us gathered around the water of life in a glorious place. The water is pure and clean and life-giving, and does not run out or become contaminated, for it is from God. So, too, is our relationship with the Alpha-Omega. As revealed (Greek meaning of apokalypsis/Apocalypse) in this vision, everything in God’s presence will be healed. Until that time we must heal each other and shine a holy light in the darkness of crisis.
“Attention is the beginning of devotion” (Mary Oliver).
Spend a few moments paying attention, wherever you are. Notice your surroundings. What draws your focus? Look more closely at detail and color. Notice what pulls or prods within you. How is the God-in-all-things speaking to you through what you see and feel right here, right now?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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