Lent is rather dry and dismal isn’t it? Especially in the days of March, I look outside my large living room window and the grass looks dry. The sky is gray. The trees are brown and still barren. The cold has become restlessly old. Everything looks rather drab and desert-like.
Beyond external dryness, there’s internal dryness we may face. Maybe you have an empty nest and your life has become boring and drained of life. Maybe you’ve lost your job and you don’t know what to do with yourself. Maybe the grind of life feels dry and empty. Maybe you’re losing (or have lost) a loved one, and your zest for life is depleted. Maybe your life feels like a dead end desert of no purpose, and you feel stuck. Maybe you’re in a season of waiting and many days feel dry and lacking.
Even as I write this, I feel dry, empty, and lacking inspiration as if I can’t get any semblance of words on the page today.
We are a people who struggle with dryness and barrenness, like the first reading, and yet our lives regularly have times and seasons of them. Instead, we long for spring and sunshine. We look forward to the lushness of greenery and bursting colors. We love a sense of purpose and meaning, a life that flourishes and is exuberant. The kind of life that flows from living water: A good rain. Nourishment.
My grandfather is in hospice and struggling to communicate, and my dad said a small drink of water gave him energy to speak the other day, and my grandfather exclaimed “A drop of water is a million dollars.” So it is, he spoke the Gospel truth we hear today without realizing it! In the midst of dryness and impending death, a small drop of water gave way to some life within him.
The story reminded me that so it is in our lives. We need a drop of life-giving water in our desert dryness of Lent. That life-giving water may come from the Eucharist, prayer time, a loved one encountering us, an act of service/mercy, or just simply a gift from above. In all of these ways, Jesus comes to us in the dry and desert times of our lives like He came to the woman at the well.
Today we pray, Lord, be fresh water in our dry days.