Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Beauty of the Waters

October 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  John 4:10

 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”  John 7:38


Lying there upon his bed his basic needs were met –

Sheets were changed and he was fed, his clock rewound and set,

Tho’ he had no need for second hands, or to watch an hour-glass,

To measure by the sands of time, the minutes as they pass.

The nurses, aids, and volunteers were kind, but in a hurry.

The precious time to calm one’s fears or relieve an old man’s worry,

Was lost most every day and week of work and endless running.

Because he could no longer speak, he dreamed of days spent sunning

On the terrace at his home, then diving in the sparkling pool,

To yield whatever cares had come, to the sacredness of cool.

But his life in all those yesterdays, soft rhythms, wider places,

Was gone, replaced by rigid ways, and tight confining spaces.

I heard, while on my duties, from his radio a song

And from his eyes such beauty shone, I stopped to hum along

To words I didn’t understand, the language was his own

So I sat down and held his hand, and thought of how alone

And empty every day must be, that such a simple pleasure

As sitting with a girl like me, could be a thing to treasure.

And looking deeply in his eyes, I sought for a desire or need

That I could fill, a small surprise or easily accomplished deed;

Yet on my mind, always intruding, my list of things that must be done.

I stroked his hand, and left, concluding with, “Good-bye, now – gotta run!”

Just as I reached the door I knew it – what it was that he most needed

Just a little thing, if I could do it, to satisfy a want unheeded.

“Acque vive,” I recalled, from the song his radio played for me,

Two words – long walled within my store of distant memory –

“Living waters,” like sweet perfume, the words infused the air

His sparkling eyes lit up the room, as I sought for his wheelchair.


Returning with his chariot, I wheeled it by his bed, then

I didn’t know just how I’d carry it off, this plan I’d wrought.

But I leaned over his weakened frame, and he braced his arms around me –

This job on which I laid my claim, I would not let confound me.

Much lighter than I’d thought, he was a burden I could bear,

And feelings that could not be bought, that both of us would share,

Settled all around us, despite the drab and gloomy walls.

We let our joy surround us, racing up and down the halls.

The key that opened the door to a dream, I had in my possession –

I’d snatched it for our secret scheme, using all of my discretion.

Unlocking the door, I wheeled him through, in rapt anticipation

Crossing the shiny white-tiled floor, we arrived at our destination.


A large deep tub in which to lie, to feel it once again –

Carefree as the time went by – the liquid beauty on his skin.

I turned the knobs and water flowed, and as gently as I could

Undressed him, then he taught me as he showed me how I should

Remove his long prosthetic limb, I mustn’t get it wet.

Tub filled at last, I lowered him – briefly our eyes met,

And we beheld each other’s heart, knowing this moment could not last.

I filled my hands with acque vive, bestowing the present with his past.

And I saw the living water pour from hands unlike my own

For they held within them so much more of life than I had never known.

With the sound of many voices, singing the same sweet song,

The mother and her son rejoice as the waters sing along.


Too soon, my hands were mine again, the holy moment faded.

I know not how it all began, but I felt as they cascaded –

Life-giving waters – through my heart, and raining everywhere.

But I remember that the start was when I stopped to care,

And deeply search an old man’s soul, for hurts that heal with just a kiss.

I found but one ache to console, and the pain was mine, not his.

Reflecting my need back to me, his was the greater act of giving,

I offered him freedom only briefly, he showed me the beauty of the waters


I am a daughter of extraordinary Godly parents who lived out their faith daily.  They raised me in the Christian faith that I would come to claim as my own as I grew to adulthood.  I have been married almost 36 years to a now-retired United Methodist Pastor and up until his retirement we lived the nomadic life of the itinerant Pastor’s family.  We have served churches in Connecticut, New York State, Vermont, Virginia, and Tennessee, and are enjoying retirement now in the mountains of western North Carolina. We met through music – singing together, and have always used our music as part of our ministry together.

I have been writing poetry for as long as I can remember, in a variety of styles and forms. I have written many songs – both words and music; and I am currently working on both an anthology of my poetry, and a humorous memoir entitled “Irreverently Yours:  The Itinerant Life of a Pastor’s Wife.”  In addition I am author of a prize-winning blog on WordPress called “Reflections From a Cloudy Mirror.” Along with daily blog-writing and working on future publications, I am a serious student of photography, and I am enjoying incorporating my love of the photographer’s art with my other artistic and creative outlets found in music and the written word.  I love the activities of reading, music, movies, and photography walks.  God has blessed me with the abundance of enough, and I make an effort each day to live a life of conscious awareness of my blessings, and sharing whatever I have been given.  Visit Paula at her blog, “Reflections From a Cloudy Mirror” at  

Click Here


3 Responses to “The Beauty of the Waters”
  1. J. P. Cabit says:

    What an amazing poem! You are definitely gifted in the Poetry department, PTC. 🙂

  2. Christina Wos Donnelly says:

    Lovely! Thank you for sharing this exquisite ministry, Paula. It’s so true: it is in giving that we receive, and often what is most precious.


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] button in my widget footer below that will take you there to peruse the magazine, or you can go here to read my submission.  It’s a poem that appeared first in my blog.  The notice came to me […]

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Please leave these two fields as-is:

Protected by Invisible Defender. Showed 403 to 411,524 bad guys.