Hose-pipe Bans and the Flow of God's Love

In today's news headlines was a warning that hosepipe bans might have to be started in the South of England, but this is only one of a number of types of drought that can affect us. Historically, Christians have spoken of a drought or famine for the Word of God [based on Bible texts like Amos 8v11] but in the UK there are Bibles all around us. What I see more of is a drought from the application of God's Word to our everyday lives.

People who struggle with their emotional health will acutely experience the lack of this in their struggles with relationships - and this is just one example. Although, when you are depressed, you can sometimes read into conversations things that are not there and motives that were not present; it is also an all-too-common truth that people can be short, in a huff, rude, judgemental and too-busy-to-care. Like the religious leaders walking by on the other side of the road from the wounded Samaritan, we have failed to let the Word of God examine our lives - preferring instead to listen to our own righteous-sounding justification for why we fail to love. We all seem to have 'more important' things to do.

The Bible is full of images of the love of God flowing like water - and in abundance in no danger of a hose-pipe ban. The best know example is Ezekiel 47 where the river of God's healing flows out from under the Temple, purifying salt water [which cannot happen naturally] and nourishing the trees that grow there. The well know chorus says, "Let justice flow like a river" from Amos 5v24.

Another chorus asks us to pray, "make me a channel of Your peace," and this got me thinking of ten ways we could reverse the current 'drought of love' and so improve the emotional health of the places where we live and work.

  1. Stop and say Hi to the person working behind the checkout in the supermarket. You could be the only person they properly talk to all day.
  2. Put an extra jacket potato in the oven and invite someone back for Sunday lunch after church this week.
  3. Find out the name of the cleaner in your office and remember it. Thye turn up just after everyone is leaving, but this is their place of work.
  4. Sponsor a child overseas through Compassion.
  5. Make your mum/wife/son breakfast in bed.
  6. Send someone a text to say you are thinking of them. Ask God to reveal which person this should be.
  7. Sign up for the Operation World daily email to find out more about the spiritual life of our planet.
  8. Allow people to speak rather than interrupting or finishing the conversation in a hurry - it may only take an extra 30 seconds but can make a huge difference.
  9. Offer to serve at church on a rota, or to take over the coffee fund at work. Small things, big impact.
  10. Pray for an opportunity every day to make someone feel really special. And use it.

These things on their own may not make a huge difference, but together they add up. I heard it can even make you feel better too! What would you add to this list? - leave a comment below.

Rob Waller, 10/06/2011