A Channel for the Waters

The indulgence of that human sense of self-limitation and inadequacy which explains so much personal timidity and ineffectiveness, finds a pertinent rebuke in Jesus' words to the woman of Samaria. They were sitting at the mouth of Jacob's well, whose limpid treasure attracted the village water-carriers day by day; thus becoming for them, as for all, a symbol of perennial good. Jesus' use of it, therefore, to illustrate the gladdening and helpful influence of those who were to become the channels of spiritual truth, must have found ready access to their understanding and interest. More than this, however, the water of life in them was to be like a flowing well,—an unfailing spring which surrounds itself with orchards and gardens abounding in fruit and flowers, and beyond with broad stretches of growing grain. No thought of the labored liftings for famished flocks intruded itself upon the picture. There was to be an abundance for every need, and it was to be poured out with Love's unreserving largess. Purity, constancy of flow, and unstinted abundance,—all these were to characterize that fountain which was "opened in the house of David for sin and uncleanness."

It is true that sometimes the sense of incapacity is distinctly increased by the overwhelming contrast between this ideal of Christian living and the records of our past endeavor, and in such a moment an escape from the pitfall of depression is found in the realization that our human service is simply one of transmission,—we are to be channels for that living stream which alone brings healing and comfort. A little child may give drink to the tired wayfarer, and if the human sense of weakness, of ignorance, and of unworthiness but sublimate into an artless humility, we also may bear the life-giving Word to the sick and fainting at our threshholds.

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Letters
Letters to our Leader
January 20, 1906
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