This week I was running in our neighborhood early one morning when three objects caught my eye—two in the sky and one on the ground. These days, Venus and Jupiter are brightly visible in the Eastern sky before sunrise. If I knew nothing about them except what I could see, I would assume that Venus is much larger than Jupiter.
Of course, the opposite is actually true. Measured at their diameter, Venus is 7,521 miles, while Jupiter is more than 12 times larger at 88,700 miles. But Venus is 67 million miles from the Sun on average, while Jupiter orbits at a distance of 484 million miles. The further from their source, the dimmer their light.
The other object I noted was more down-to-earth, literally. A neighbor’s broken sprinkler head was shooting water straight up into the air. It then cascaded onto the street and ran down into the gutter. Meanwhile, the grass it was intended to water lay dry and parched in our summer heat. An observer later in the day would wonder why that part of the lawn was dying.
Consider these objects as spiritual metaphors. If we’re too far from Jesus, his light will be dimly reflected in our lives. If the living waters of his Spirit are not flowing through us to those who need his sustenance, they will suffer.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts the recent death of Dr. Brian Newman at the age of 51. At his memorial service last week, so many people had remarkable stories to tell about his service and compassion. Afterwards, Minni Elkins, my long-time assistant, made this perceptive observation: “It’s not what people inside the church say that defines us . . . it’s what those outside the church say.”
How close to the Light and Living Water are you today?