We are a faith family for all, serving all
Somos una familia de fe para todos, sirviendo a todos
With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation! Isaiah 12:3
This fall, I was part of a learning group of pastors in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As part of the time together, we traveled to Bandolier National Monument and hiked the ruins. Along the way, our bus traversed a tall bridge over the Rio Grande. Our guide, in speaking of the river, called it “exotic.”
When she finished speaking, I took the chance to circle back to the word “exotic” and ask what it meant. The guide, who was a retired professor, said it means the water in the river channel didn’t come from the land around the river. Most rivers have all kinds of tributary sources that continuously refill them along their route. But exotic rivers flow through lands that don’t contribute new, fresh water. The water in exotic rivers comes from a different region than the land it waters. In the case of the Rio Grande, the water comes from the Rocky Mountains. And, at least in the Santa Fe area, there is no other source feeding the Rio Grande. It’s “exotic.”
I’m not sure if that holds true throughout the Rio Grande’s journey (let me know if you know the answer!), but the guide said it was true. We live on the banks of an exotic river. A river that starts in the mountains of Colorado and flows through three states. A river along which so many cities have been planted and thrive.
To me, exotic rivers speak of grace- those things that come to us as pure gift. We didn’t add to them or contribute, but they bless us. We live on the banks of such a river, where the blessings of the river and its water are ours, a gift from the southern end of the Rocky Mountains. This river blesses us, enriches our lives, makes life possible by providing water.
Ponder today the gifts that come to you, not because you have earned them, or contributed in some way, but just as grace. We live on the banks of an exotic river, the grace of water coming to us as a gift, let’s remember this and ponder the ways we are blessed that came to us as pure gift! And as we begin our New Year, let’s think about how we might be that grace in another person’s life.