Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The River

From today's readings (Ezekiel, 47: 1-9, 12):

"The angel brought me, Ezekiel, back to the entrance of the temple of the Lord, and I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the facade of the temple was toward the east; the water flowed down from the right side of the temple, south of the altar. He led me outside by the north gate, and around to the outer gate facing the east, where I saw water trickling from the right side. Then when he had walked off to the east with a measuring cord in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and had me wade through the water, which was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand and once more had me wade through the water, which was now knee-deep. Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade; the water was up to my waist. Once more he measured off a thousand, but there was now a river through which I could not wade; for the water had risen so high it had become a river that could not be crossed except by swimming. He asked me, "Have you seen this, son of man?" Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit. Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides. He said to me, "This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah, and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh. Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh. Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine."

I love this passage because it so clearly tell us what we must be for other people. We must be that life-giving river, our banks of kindness, goodness, and love overflowing. We must provide life giving water, making fresh the dead waters and dry souls that are parched.

If we loose the torrents of our affection and love we can make the world ever green, always fruitful, and full of every good thing. That image is so powerful for me, because in the days before spring we need that love and life from one another. We need it as summer comes and the heat begins to wear us down. We need it in the fall, when the leaves begin to turn reminding us of the soon to come slumber.

Our love can raise the waters of tolerance and joy and keep us always green...if we let it.