At Home in Creation: When our inner wells run dry 

This article appears in the At Home in Creation feature series. View the full series.

PAUSE

This week's reflections focus on water.

READ

Jesus wept.

— John 11:35

Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."

— John 4:13-15

You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

—Isaiah 58:11


REFLECT

I cried driving to work today, and as the tears streamed down my face, this gift of water from the Earth being a source of cathartic release, the Scripture "Jesus wept" came into my mind. 

I wonder if I weep for some of the same reasons that he did: my incessant worry about climate change and its effects on all of creation, continued concern about the pandemic, thoughts of loved ones who are grieving a variety of losses, on top of feeling like I'll never catch up with the constant inflow of my inbox (I'll admit, Jesus probably didn't have that last one in mind).

Any one of these reasons alone would be enough to cause tears but combined they feel like a tidal wave. 

At the same time, I am experiencing what feels like an internal drought. Words and ideas that used to bubble up generously don't come as easily, and I feel like I am scraping the bottom of the well.

In recent conversations with friends, colleagues and family, I have realized that I am not alone in these feelings. No matter what state of life they're in, many people feel like their interior wells of energy and creativity have dried up, perhaps because of the ongoing pandemic. 

I am in awe as I recognize that every human being alive holds a similar reservoir filled with their own deepest cares and their interior desert at times. As we navigate these extremes, I keep hearing the question: How do we continue when we feel like our interior wells or rivers have run dry?

As I ponder this, the phrase that keeps coming to me is "return to the Source." When I feel like I am treading water or like I am wandering in the desert, I often try to carry on alone instead of sinking into the practices that I know sustain me. I have to remind myself that God promises us living waters that will never fail if we are willing to ask for them. 

This week's reflections have focused on water in a literal sense, but today I invite you to check in with your interior springs, your source of living water, especially as you discern how you're being called to respond to the realities of climate change. Consider: 

  • Do you currently have access to an internal wellspring of hope, or does it feels like your interior wells or rivers have run dry?
  • What fills your well, and how can you go back to the Source today or during this coming weekend?
  • Are there particular people, places, types of prayer or activities that help you connect with your internal living waters? Do you engage with them regularly? Why or why not?
  • How might God be inviting you to enter into the flow of the living waters that never fail as you work to create a world where abundant life can flourish? 

ACT

Make intentional time to refill your interior well today or this weekend doing whatever helps you reconnect with God and the living waters.

Find some ideas to "return to the Source" below: 

  • Write a "stream of consciousness" of what is welled up inside of you or what gifts and ideas are overflowing right now. 
  • Make time and space for a type of prayer that helps you reconnect with God and a sense of abundant love. 
  • If possible, revisit your "happy place," and ask God for the gift of life-giving water.
  • Reconnect with a person, activity or place that you know will renew you. 

At Home in Creation

pause | read | reflect | act

You can sign up here to receive these reflections every Monday, Wednesday and Friday throughout the Season of Creation, Sept. 1-Oct. 4.

Brenna Davis

Brenna Davis is the Director of Education for Justice and Environmental Initiatives at the Ignatian Solidarity Network. She is a certified spiritual director, Cuyahoga County Master Recycler and a member of NCR’s EarthBeat Advisory Panel.

Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from EarthBeat.

Thanks!
68