Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Water: A Lenten Encounter with the Source of Life

Beth Anderson, Outreach Associate

My previous Lenten commitments have always been focused on me, me, me and what I can change in my own life. I gave up buying new shoes. I gave up eating out-of-season produce. I decided to eat a vegan diet.

These individual actions have a clear impact on my personal life and, by extension, the life of the planet. However, this year I feel the need to do something a little less concrete and to learn more about an issue that remains outside my own experience.

For the next six weeks I will be reading the book Troubled Waters: Religion, Ethics, and the Global Water Crisis, by Seattle University professor Gary Chamberlain. As I make my way through the text I will share my insights, learnings, and general musings about water.

I’ll start with this anecdote: I read the first pages of Chamberlain’s book while sitting in a window seat on a Linkbus bound north from downtown Seattle on I-5. After a short break to gaze out at Lake Union and Lake Washington, as the bus passed over the ship canal, I returned to read these words—“I am circumscribed by water.” Indeed! I am inextricably connected to the water of my past, present, and future and it is truly my source of life.

If you’re interested in thinking about the global water crisis as your own Lenten practice, check out Earth Ministry’s NEW website for water-related resources…or simply continue reading my weekly blogs.

Note: My husband and I are also continuing our tradition of eating a vegan diet during Lent, and that practice might occasionally find its way into my blog entries!

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