So what might a bathroom, a can of Squirt and Jesus all have in common you ask? Well, each of them in their own powerful and unique way have been able to refresh me with their life-giving flowing energy.
A Bathroom. This wasn’t just any bathroom. It was the back bathroom off the backdoor of the house I grew up in in the southeast suburbs of Chicago. This is where I would come in from outside through the backdoor, up the three steps and into the bathroom you see pictured. I would turn the faucet on and then lean over with my face under the faucet drinking the refreshing cold water that would stream out. There were no cups and no hassles. Boy I could be there for what seemed eternity quenching my thirst. Then I would simply turn off the faucet, wipe my mouth off and then run back outside to keep playing. Never once did the thought cross my mind that the water would not come out of the faucet or be refreshing or not satisfy my thirst. It was always there like a cool amazing waterfall you’d discover in the forest. It was free (at least to me it was!). No strings attached. It was like drinking straight from heaven!
A can of Squirt. The second fond memory I have from my younger years is an older neighbor who lived down the street from me. While others called him “Mr. Cunningham,” he was always just simply “Ed” to me. From an early age, I remember we just hit it off and I think he had all the cool stuff in his garage and yard. He would have these simple two by four blocks of wood that I would play with for what seemed like hours. I think I was like a grandchild for him and he was like a grandpa I never got to know. He would tinker around in his garage or sit down just watching me play. And then he said those magic words: “Jimmy, how about a Squirt?” And we’d both have a cool glass of refreshing Squirt. Don’t remember a lot of what we said, but I remember having those Squirts with him. It was like drinking something straight from heaven!
A Son of God. Jesus used a lot of analogies, metaphors and parables to describe both himself and living in the Kingdom. One of my favorite stories of Jesus occurs in the 4th chapter of John’s Gospel. Jesus meets a woman looking to draw water from a well in the heat of the day. Jesus invites her to drink water which will never make her thirsty again. Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (4:13-14). When we belly up on Jesus, we are refreshed, renewed and restored for life! Especially in the desert moments of my life, Jesus has been the One who quenched my thirst for life. It IS like drinking heaven itself!
Who or what has been a source of God’s wellspring of refreshing goodness for you? Sometimes we can end up drinking from wells that might be unhealthy or unholy for us. God gifts us with many holy and life-giving ways to fill up our tank. Sacramentally, in water and the Spirit we are baptized into this endless stream of grace. And the eucharist, or holy communion, sustains us with Jesus’ body and blood. The Living Word of the Bible can help feed our soul with stories of forgiveness, hope and love. These are good places to start. Yet don’t think for one moment God can’t use a bathroom faucet or a neighbor offering a cold drink to quench our souls. When God offers it, drink it up!