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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Clean water is never inconvenient

I did it without thinking. Then I realized the fortune that I had just swept aside.

At the end of lunch with a friend discussing business, she asked the waiter for water. He brought two large glasses filled with clear ice water and a lemon slice. But because I had eaten and drank my fill, I impatiently moved the glass to my side, out of sight.

Then it hit me: All the cost, labor and infrastructure that went into allowing me to be presented with that glass of cold drinking water—and the subsequent cost of the infrastructure to convey it to a wastewater treatment facility after it would be dumped into a sink—were all wasted.

Moreover, by God’s grace I remembered that many millions needed that water. Countless men, women and children would have done anything to have it for themselves or to bring to a dehydrated, dying loved one.

This got me thinking of all the many ways that we can help others get clean water for themselves and their families. (And here, as I watch my mom get older, I think of other sons that are helplessly watching their parents suffer. How many men like me would do anything to give their moms the glass of water that I swept out of my way as if it were some inconvenience?)

So, let us take a moment and pray for the too many among us that right now are dying of thirst or of diseases spread by poor sanitation. May God give them comfort and welcome them to His Kingdom. And may He have mercy on those of us that have an abundance of clean water but do not appreciate it.

Of course, in addition to praying, we must contribute what we can so that others may live. After all, isn’t that  what Our Lord did for us, and asks of us?

To begin, visit the Catholic Relief Services home page on water and sanitation. Read, learn and the donate what you can.

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