Our “Living Waters” retreat was wet and wonderful. Here’s the prayer Rev. Ann Lougee said over the gathered water each woman brought and poured. The water rested “still” for a day on our altar (the muddy one is water from the Dead Sea, the sculpture the woman at the well,) then we carried it “living” outside, and poured it “deep” into the earth around a thirsty tree. Blessed be water still, living, deep.
“God of earth and sky and sea, God of chaos and creation and cosmos, God of stillness and motion and the deepest depths, we have come to this place thirsting for refreshment of body, mind and spirit. As women, we are constantly and continually pouring out for others, sometimes at risk of emptying our own vessels. So we have come to re-hydrate, and not just to hydrate but to saturate ourselves with this time apart, time together, time with you, our life-giving God.
“We have come bringing real and virtual water from places that we hold dear: from the Dead Sea; from the Sacramento River; from a koi pond at the center of life and relationship for a family and friends; from our homes which are places of refuge;and from this retreat center which is also a place of refuge and safety and calmness and friendship and blessing. Many places!
“Yet all this water comes ultimately from the same primordial source, moving and taking different forms at different times in different places. So too, God of Mystery, do we all come from different places, yet we come ultimately from the same Source: from Big Bang to stardust, from life-producing primordial waters, from ancient African ancestors, all of which heritage flows in the fluids of our bodies. And we blend ourselves together here, like this blended water, in a sacred, fluid sisterhood.
“We have each come, as a woman to the well, seeking a quenching of our own private, individual thirsts in our time here. And as women together, we help to fill one another’s vessels as well. Where one has an upwelling and overflowing of spirit, she may pour out for one whose vessel feels empty or less full, knowing that those roles may be reversed at another time.
And so we have combined our waters together, all made fuller by our togetherness. From this time of sharing and togetherness may we feel ourselves well and truly saturated in spirit, in love, in stillness and motion and our deepest depths. As we leave this place, may what we have experienced here make us able to pour out from replenished, ever-refilling vessels. Amen.”
Bluetheology.com. I post these ocean devotional every Wednesday here and on Facebook.