By Robert Campbell, Pastor of Santa Margarita Community Church and A Rocha USA Board Member
The front lawn died sometime in November. We hold a small memorial in its honor every Monday and Thursday when we have permission to run the sprinklers, but choose not to. It is dead, all of it, from that bit full of Iris gone wild to the hollyhocks along the drive and down into the swale that borders every property in this small town. It is dead and looks like it won’t be coming back.
Average annual rainfall: 26.0 inches.
3 year average annual: 14.1 inches.
Supply status: Alert
Neighbors are literally borrowing water from neighbors, hauling it over to wash dishes and brush their teeth. Park rangers walk the shore of what used to be a reservoir, now 24, 7 and even 4% full…which means 76, 93 and 96% empty, dry, providing next to nothing for myself, my family and my quarter million neighbors.
We passed frightening in March, right after a freak storm gave us 1/2 of the years’ rainfall overnight. We passed frightening, did not slow down for awful and are presenting looking devastating in the face. And his face is looking a bit chapped already.
Everyday our local paper laments the slow growing disaster with Davidic tones, “How long O Lord?” The waters that bounded this Edenic paradise have long since ceased flowing. But one day the water of life, in the new heaven and new earth, will bring healing to the nations.
I found myself reading the biblical book of Revelation in a time of drought, an apocalyptic drought. I could not help but notice that wonderful imagery of the “one day” when all things are made right. On that day there will no longer be any curse. On that day there will no longer be any night. On that day…
There will be a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
On that day, God will use water as He has always intended water to be used. Water will serve the healing of the nations. That is what God desires for the water that once flowed through my town, the water I used to grow annual grass where perennial grass flourishes natively. Maybe the drought has taught us something. Maybe those neighbors are now using water in a more biblical sense when they truck it next door as an act of love, for the healing of nations, or at least the healing of neighbors.
May God reveal to us that there is no drought of that living water, no lack in supply of healing. May God give us to drink daily from both the tap and the fountain of living water.
And may God cause both waters to flow freely…for the healing of neighbors.
Even so, come Lord Jesus. Amen.
Dramatic images of the California drought can be found at the SFGate.