George W Truett Theological Seminary on the campus of Baylor University holds a very special place in my heart. Could be because I spent so many wonderful hours there over the course of eight years working toward a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies while teaching full time as a band director. Its hallowed halls, classrooms and chapel all hold special and powerful memories. And yes, graduation was a true celebration!
Yet perhaps my favorite place was the courtyard. Redbrick walls rising on all four sides. Elder pecan trees reaching their branches to the skies. Often brilliant blue skies and wispy white clouds tracing the heavens. Around the edges flowers abounding, something always in bloom. Especially those surrounding the area around the courtyard reflective pool.
White native limestone rocks lined its deep pocket and rose above ground level for added beauty. There was no flowing water but oh, what a beautiful a sound was produced by its spring pushing water upwards. The surface waters always quietly bubbling, ripples extending to the pool’s sides.
Water. Clear, clean, undisturbed by its surroundings. Undeterred by humans wandering by or stopping to sit beside. Not even by an occasional pigeon stooping to quench its thirst.
Water, calling me to sit, stay awhile. Issuing a call to silence. An invitation to seek my Lord, contemplate in reverence. Ponder the life sustaining power of water, even Christ’s words . . . I am the Living water, all who drink will never thirst again.
Rock – white, pure. Rock supporting and surrounding the waters. A large rock rising perhaps two feet or so out of the water. Standing as testimony of our Rock and Redeemer.
An outcropping rock in the middle of rocks. No dirt. No land mass, surrounded only by other rocks and the concrete of surrounding sidewalks. Yet growing from a crevice in the rock are several vines and a small tree, larger this day than eight years ago when I was a student.
Growth from a rock? How can it be?
How so in the rocks of our lives? Our relationship with Jesus, nestled among our sins. Our pride. Our independent nature. Our habits. Our refusal to follow, wherever God is leading. Or maybe the junk we fill our days with . . . .
Our relationship also nestled in the deep love of Jesus grows in spite of our rocks. In spite of ourselves, the lack of evidence of ‘good’ soil within us, or the improbability of it all by all human equations. It is precisely there within us that You, O God, spring forth, blossom, grow and bear fruit in spite of who we are. You, O God, forgive, redeem, restore and renew us with your Living Water.
O God, please forgive, restore and live eternal within the rocks of my spirit until one day they are all hammered away.
Come to the fountain . . . oh, come to the waters of the Lord.