I’m lying in bed just starting to drift off for the night, when I hear my wife whisper, “Honey, do you think you could get me a glass of water?” Obviously, there is only one acceptable answer to your precious weaker vessel – and that is a full glass of ice water drawn from the pristine kitchen faucet (or in these days of modern conveniences, the refrigerator door may house acceptable liquid refreshment as well).
I have no problem playing retriever … but what baffles me is why the exact same water from the adjacent bathroom is totally unacceptable. Not that I don’t need the exercise, but I just don’t get it. What we have here is a clear case of guilt by association. It is not as though I am going to surreptitiously scoop a glass from the toilet bowl. (Would that then be “potable” water?? Just kidding.) The same copper pipes that carried the water up to the kitchen were used in the plumbing throughout the rest of the house. How does the name of the room alter the quality of the beverage?
It is even more of a paradox when you consider the reverse thinking: you use the exact same water in the exact same mouth when you brush your teeth … but it would be anathema to spit out water in the kitchen sink. Heaven forbid! You might defile the dirty dishes that have collected in the basin. No, in this case bathroom water is the only acceptable option.
Now if you want to really get your wife ticked off (and I do not since today is our 28th wedding anniversary), try staging a simple “Water Taste Test” for fun. Sounds innocent enough – you just offer her two glasses with disguised labels and see how consistent she is at differentiating the kitchen water from the bathroom variety. Somehow she doesn’t see the humor or irony in that type of contest.
Now I will admit that my wife has suffered through some traumatic drinking water experiences. When we were a struggling young couple living in a rundown trailer court out in northern Indiana while attending Grace Seminary, we were at the end of the water supply. Consequently, the water pressure could vary greatly … some mornings you barely had enough of a trickle for your morning shower. Plus Karen’s discerning palate required that we portage all of our drinking water in jugs filled up at an artesian well several miles away. In retrospect, Karen has always figured this saved her life since we knew a couple of trailer court classmates who ended up with cancer at an early age. Anyway, let’s not go there.
Think of all of life’s important decisions that are impacted by the quality of your drinking water. We certainly check the water out before making any housing purchase. Filters and purifiers can be a nice corrective action, but you want to start with a good foundational product. Fortunately we have been under the same roof (technically we raised the roof with an addition …and then lost a roof to water damage ….you get the idea) for the past 23 years so that has not been a hardship. Vacation traveling can be a challenge. Whether it is just a hotel for an overnight stay or a week long cabin rental, adequate water is critical.
Our car is only big enough to tote around a limited number of cases of bottled water for those emergency situations. Isn’t that a fascinating industry? Who could have predicted that enterprising entrepreneurs only needed to put a fancy label on a plastic bottle of plain old H2O to make their fortune in life. I mean what is your preference: plunking down $1.25 every time your lips get dry or risking life and limb by contaminating your internal plumbing with profane tap water? Check out your stock portfolio now: AquaFina, Dansani, Polar Springs … even Gatorade is getting into the act … these are the companies that should be turning a hefty profit. Always the suspicious one, I often wonder who is monitoring these firms to make sure some shyster isn’t duping us with ordinary tap water? Interestingly, a TV commercial just popped up for AquaFina: “Drink More Water … Make Your Body Happy.” I always joke with Karen that I should have just installed a hose right up to her bedside. (How else can you possibly gulp down the required 8 glasses per day as the recommended adult allotment?) At least she has a happy body …. I shouldn’t complain. (See How Much to Drink.)
I don’t mean to minimize the value of water. Scientists have demonstrated that about 55 -75% of our body weight is water. (That always puzzles me as well. When I try to lose weight and I sweat off the excess water it only amounts to a few measly old ounces. I guess the rest of that internal water must be critical.) A person can only live for 3-4 days without water. But that doesn’t explain why Karen can’t make it for five minutes between the house and 7-Eleven without her portable mug of ice water in the car. Maybe it is more of a security blanket than a beverage??
Given the significance of water, it is no wonder that the Lord Jesus chose a simple drink of water to illustrate the free gift of eternal life and of the Holy Spirit as He offered Himself to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.
“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water… Everyone who drinks of this water [out of Jacob’s well] shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
How appropriate that the Son of God should present Himself in this manner. The only solution to the universal sin problem that separates man from his Creator is the simple free gift of salvation received by grace through faith, apart from any works or merit of our own. By His death, Jesus suffered the penalty for our sins once for all and by His resurrected life He offers us new life and union with Him forever. Come and drink and enjoy the blessings of this living water so that you can leave your sins behind and become a true worshipper of your Heavenly Father.
Honey, I love you dearly. I will gladly retrieve your kitchen ice water.