One evening, about a month ago, I went to use the faucet to wash my hands and no water came out, just a sputtering sound of air and a faint gargle echoed through.
For just a brief moment I thought this strange, and then immediately a terrible wave of fear came over me, and many scary thoughts began running through my head: Did terrorists just shut down DC’s water grid? Is there a major water main break in the district? There are 80 friars in this priory and we can’t flush a single toilet. We keep no emergency water supply in the house. What about brewing coffee tomorrow morning? My next instinct was to head down to the kitchen and see if the outage was everywhere. Sure enough, my suspicions were confirmed, and then another wave of those fears crashed upon the shore of my mind. I picked up the phone and found the extension number of the friar who looks after these things (and pays the water bills). A brother wandered in nonchalantly as I said over the phone, “The water’s out, seriously.”
My flying imagination was momentarily grounded by the response I received: “The bill is paid, and we received no notice of an outage. Let me call the DC emergency water number listed on the bill.” I hung up the receiver and by this point one or two more brothers entered in saying they didn’t have water. My fear grew and I started to think, if this is an emergency what do we have to set aside? There will be a run on water supplies at the local supermarket. We will have to get our older brothers in weaker health out of here. We are going to drink every drop of soda, wine, beer, and juice in this place dry—suddenly I’m thirsty. I better try and get some water out of some device in this kitchen. I need a glass of water! I poured a glass from the juice machine’s water reserve. The growing fear for a few moments subsided. I began to head back up to my room, plastic cup two-thirds full of chilled water in my hand, and a sense of relief that at least I have this small source of comfort. I sank back into my desk chair and returned to work. The next logical move was to start surfing the city’s websites and twitter universe to see if the fear that was brewing in me was indeed unfolding across our nation’s capital.
Nothing. All was quiet on the digital frontier. As I returned to the chapel for night prayer, a note was pinned to the community board saying; “DC water authority was running tests tonight and water will return by 10PM.” I was not going to miss that morning coffee. I entered the chapel with a restored sense of security in my city dwelling.
But where was my trust in anything at the start of all of this commotion? Well, first we were never told about these tests in the first place, okay you will have to allow me that concession. Second, you will have to allow me the concession that I had never been in a water outage before. Okay, so it was reasonable enough to have fear.
If I trust in something or somebody, then I am not afraid of what might happen. If I had known that the DC water authority had been doing tests, I would not have feared this sudden outage. But this is just water (no doubt critical for life) but what about our immortal souls?
In the image of Divine Mercy our Lord instructed St. Faustina to have the words painted, “Jesus, I trust in you!” on the bottom of this image. By the gift of God’s revelation we know Jesus Christ, and we know that He loves us and has an eternal home in paradise that awaits us. Through the Church He continues to give us the sacraments to draw us closer to Himself. We experience his mercy in a special way in the sacrament of Reconciliation. But don’t take my word for it, take Our Lord’s words to St. Faustina:
Tell [all people], My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such and abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls. Diary of St. Faustina 1074
If it has been a while since you have been to confession, trust in Jesus, and take this post as your letter from the water company. Have no fear, and go this weekend. We are celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday and His unyielding love for us, even if we have blocked the faucet of divine grace in our soul. He will clear the sin out, and the water of divine mercy, love, and friendship with God will no longer be contained.
Image: Edward Ruscha, Faucet