Nothing for Granted
Last year, I read an excellent post by Christian author Glennon Doyle Melton on her “Momastery” blog. She had posted a picture of her kitchen and been flooded by messages from her readers telling her how badly she needed to renovate and update the whole thing. She responded in a beautiful way: she gave a virtual tour of her kitchen, as-is, noting how mind-shakingly amazing everything was. A machine that keeps food and drinks cold so you can keep them longer. A pantry fully stocked with food for weeks. An out-of-date by strong tiled floor where her family will often dance. And finally: “THIS CRAZY THING IS A WATER FAUCET. I pull this lever and CLEAN WATER POURS OUT EVERY TIME, DAY OR NIGHT.”
She writes humorously but I found it to be a very moving exercise in gratitude. She took nothing for granted. All her readers could see was an out-of-date kitchen, and she showed them how we all take so much for granted.
Water.org tells me that over 600 million people, 1 out of every 10 people alive, do not have access to clean drinking water. It also tells me that a lack of clean water poses the largest threat to human life and health because of how big of an impact it has.
So we should be thankful that everyone here in the United States is given access to cheap and clean water, right? That is, unless you live in Flint, Michigan.
I read two articles about the clean water crisis in Flint this morning that caught my attention. First, the Michigan State Militia showed up with their “Don’t Tread on Me” signs and handguns on their belts to stand up for the people of Flint. Their executive director was quoted as saying: “We’re here to defend this community… This is not a racial issue… It’s a human issue.”
I’ll quote the opening of the second article: “The Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ, the Disciples’ Week of Compassion, and the Michigan Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) announced Jan. 18 the launch of “The Gospel in Action –– Flint,” a joint effort to help provide water to the more than 50,000 households in Flint who have not had clean water for almost two years. The partnership includes providing water to Vermont Christian Church in Flint, which has been designated a water distribution point.”
I am proud to be a member of a movement that reaches out to other churches to take up human issues, issues of justice, issues of health. I am proud when Christians of any stripe take nothing for granted, not just for themselves, but for their neighbors that live very different lives from their own. God help us all to recognize when the luxuries we take for granted are not available to any of God’s children.