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Sunday, November 01, 2015
Water Delivery - Eleanor Shepherd
It was a Wednesday
morning, the day when there is usually the least number of employees present at
the church. Just before 8:30 the doorbell rang, and I went down to see
who was there. It was unusual to have people coming to the door that
early. It was the man from the bottled water company who provides the
water for our water coolers. Usually he comes later in the day, but they
happened to be passing that morning and thought they would see if anyone was
there so they could make their delivery.
We headed to the elevator together
and went up to the first floor where we store the new bottles, so we could
check on the empties. He brought two bottles with him, knowing from
experience that we would need at least that many. A few weeks ago he told
me that each of these bottles of water weigh 45 pounds, so carrying 90 pounds
of water, it made more sense to take the elevator than the stairs. As we
go up and down together in the elevator we usually have a conversation.
My problem is that although I am fluent in French, I have a great deal of
difficulty understanding his accent, and my guess is that he has as much
trouble understanding mine. Often, I make sounds to indicate agreement,
even though I am not exactly sure what it is I am agreeing with, and I hope
that I am not making a complete fool of myself. What further complicates
our conversation is that he mumbles as well, so that even if I understood the
words he was saying, I cannot really quite hear them.
That Wednesday morning, we had one
of our typical conversations, about the whether and life in general, with me
hoping that what I heard and said was in some way relevant to the conversation.
We had a couple of trips up and down in the elevator, as he needed to
bring up another couple of replacement bottles. Then when he finished his
delivery, I signed the electronic pad that he gave me with the stylus provided
and he headed for the elevator to leave the building. As he did so, he
said clearly to me in French, "May the good Lord watch over you
today." The words were well articulated and I understood every one
of them and I automatically responded in French, "And may He watch over
you as well." Then he was gone.
What immediately came to my mind
were the words of my husband, during the prayer that we had together before
leaving the house after breakfast that morning. He prayed that we might
be aware of God at work in the lives of others who might cross our paths that
It struck me as rather ironic.
Here was I, the pastor, receiving these words of blessing from the man
who delivered our water. Perhaps there was more going on here than I
realized. How symbolic is it that Jesus so often referred to water.
When He spoke of the Holy Spirit, He identified Him as a source of living
water that would spring up in us. As I reflected on this brief encounter,
I knew that Glen's prayer for me that morning had been answered.