They came to some water

As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water... (Acts 8:36-38)

“Storytellers are heart teachers. They unfold roads before us and behind us. They show us where the rough places are and where we might find good water.”

That’s according to Ottowa writer Katie Munnik. Her words have been in the air these last few days. I have wondered about how we guide each other to good water and about those moments we stumble upon it with an unlikely other.

Because we do not dwell in an arid place, one could surmise that the image does not pack the same punch here as it does there. Fair enough. Still, I think each of us can connect with the truth and the beauty of having been helped when it comes to making sense of our lives.

 Gordon Frickers, "Sea of Galilee, Tiberius"

Gordon Frickers, "Sea of Galilee, Tiberius"

“They unfold roads before us and behind us. They show us where the rough places are and where we might find good water.”

Storytellers do this, yes. Storytellers -- come in many shapes and sizes. They don’t always hold a microphone. Art, geography, and wordless exchanges story-tell.

Prayer and Scripture at the graveside, ideas floated over a Vietnamese lunch, my father’s announcement of a pilgrimage to Union Springs, Alabama…maybe I came upon water more often than usual this past week. Or, I was just awake.

Those who point us to precious stories are also our heart teachers. Yesterday, a toddler stomped in water that was nothing if not suspect. I looked on with a so this is happening expression while the neighbors waited to see what I was made of. In hindsight, we were some semblance of Philip and the Eunuch meeting up on Richmond’s northside. “Look here is water (v.26)!” He said so with his eyes.  

Showing us the rough places is no less of a gift, by the way. When someone describes their soul as troubled and we are given permission to see what is rumbling within ourselves; or when, in the company of another, we stumble upon a name for the thing we’ve been navigating; this too is grace.

God bless and keep our guides.

 

Rachel May

Rachel Maywater, storytelling