01 April 2010


definition:  a clear, colorless, odorless, and tasteless liquid, H2O, essential for most plant and animal life and the most widely used of all solvents

I have been mulling this over for nearly three weeks, since the first weekend in Cambodia where we had the opportunity to go to Siem Reap...

It has long been recognized that we need water to live, specifically clean water. So, in the First World there are water treatment plans, sewage treatment plants. We can afford to be fussy about how our water tastes, even when purified, to the point where we will buy bottled water, rather than opening the kitchen tap and drinking what comes out of it. Our water is so pure, in fact, that when we travel to places with a less dependable water supply, we have no choice but to drink bottled water (and clean our teeth with it), otherwise we will suffer from "Montezuma's Revenge", or worse.

While in Siem Reap, which is renowned for being the location of Angkor Wat, we had the opportunity to visit the Floating Village on Tonle Sap, Cambodia's largest lake.  This village is populated by ethnic Vietnamese fishermen & their families.  They literally live on the water.  There are floating restaurants, floating stores, a floating mechanic, a floating basketball court, floating schools, floating churches.  The primary mode of transportation is boat, there is no electricity (unless you have a diesel generator) and the main occupation is fishing.  Everything about their lives orbits around water.

And what water...

It is not in line with the definition at the top...opaque brown, emanating a slight, indescribable odour, and teeming with bacteria.  We would never get in it, no matter how hot the day (and it was VERY hot!!) and most certainly would never drink it.  To our western sensibilities, this water is not a source of life, nor a sustainer of it.  In many ways, it contains death. 

Two Bible passages always come to mind when I think about water--Jeremiah 2:13, where the weeping prophet confronts the people of Israel on their choice of water source, cisterns where water stagnates and that need to be replenished because they are broken and therefore leak; John 4, where Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman at the well.  The Samaritan woman had sought to quench her spiritual thirst from broken cisterns but Jesus offers her living water, which is water directly from the source; it is pure & endless in supply.  When given the opportunity to slake her spiritual thirst, she jumped in whole-heartedly.  She knew she was thirsty.

So, all this thinking about water made me think, yet again, do I hunger & thirst after righteousness?  Do I go to the source of Living Water to quench this thirst?

I think I need a drink...

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