June 8, 2013 Tom Berlin


Well waterWater is everywhere here during the rainy season. It rains most days at some point. The storm is never very long. What it lacks in duration it more than makes up for in volume. Sheets of water come down with such intensity that the cistern fills quickly.

In the back of the CRC compound is a well that is accessed by a pump. It is the old-fashioned pump with a handle that you move up and down. Water comes out of the spout into your bucket. When I use this pump I gain a deep appreciation of what a resource water is and how valuable it is to everything we do from drinking to cooking to cleaning. It never occurs to me to waste a drop of that water. Even after I finish pumping, I do not move the bucket until all the water has stopped flowing from the spout. What people know is that the well, during the dry season, may run dry. If the well runs dry, there is no plan B. So they respect the water. They cherish the resource because everything depends on it.

I think about how different this is from my life at home. Trips to Africa have changed my relationship with water. I turn it off when I brush my teeth. I don’t water my lawn. But there are other resources that I am less careful about. The money I spend, the electricity I use, the food I eat and the food I waste are all resources that I interact with daily. It is easy to live as though all of life is the rainy season and the cistern will always be full. I am hopeful to keep this picture of the pump in my mind, so that I will be grateful for what I have and honoring of what I use.


Tom Berlin

Rev. Tom Berlin is the Lead Pastor of Floris United Methodist Church. Tom was raised in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and has lived in Virginia most of his life. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and his Master of Divinity is from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He has co-authored three books and is the author of several small group studies. Tom and his wife Karen have four daughters.

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