The Gift of Water
Before you go any further with reading this, stop and think about how much water you have already used today. (If you’re reading this first thing, then perhaps think about yesterday).
An average human being in this country will use water without being consciously aware of it many times throughout the day. We will wash, brush our teeth, drink, eat, drive, go to the loo, see grass, trees and flowers which wouldn’t exist without it. Other activities we may not do every day, but many people will water their gardens, go swimming, wash their hair, put some flowers in a vase, turn on a radiator, clean their car or put on the washing-machine during the next 24 hours. And mostly we won’t think about it, we’ll just do it.
How easy it is to turn on a tap and get the water flowing!
The benefice churches are celebrating Harvest Festival at the beginning of this month, a time when we think particularly of the food we eat, the things we drink, our farmers and producers, and give thanks to God for them. Three of the four churches this year will also be collecting money for WaterAid.
Without water, we would starve. We need to drink to keep hydrated and to stay alive. There are very few, if any, foodstuffs that can be produced without access to H2O. As a sign of our thankfulness to God, we will, generously I hope, make offerings for those who do not have the luxury of a tap or two dispensing clean water in their homes.
In South Sudan, which is twinned with Salisbury diocese, the average time taken for a person to reach water is 45 minutes. Thirty per cent of people there have no access to clean water at all. No wonder the sickness and death rates are so high.
According to the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, there are 844 million people in the world with no access to clean water at all. Just imagine what that is like.
Water is such a precious commodity. WaterAid in its 35 years of existence has brought clean water to 24.9 million people who had no access before; its aim is to ensure that by 2030 no one in the world will be without. What an amazing goal and vision to have!
As we celebrate the Harvest season, let us thank God for all the amazing food we have, for those who produce it here and abroad. Perhaps too this year you might also like to join me in gratitude for one thing that makes all of that possible, one thing that enables us to have life, one thing to which we have such easy access but millions around the world do not, one thing that is so much part of our daily life that we rarely stop to think about it – the precious gift of water.
With best wishes