Following Sunday worship, Bill an elderly member of the congregation would often visit with Ian, the minister. Bill lived in the L’Arche community, a community for specially abled adults . (It’s been said that there are two kinds of people: those who are disabled and those who are not yet disabled.)
One Sunday, Bill says, “ Ian, I would like to get baptised.”
And Ian asked, “Why would you like to do that Bill?”
“ I think it will refresh me… and Ian, could we have lots of water.”
Baptism Sunday soon came. The baptismal fount was brimming with water. There was soon water, smiles, words of blessing splashing everywhere. It was a gladsome day.
A few weeks later, word came from Bill’s L’Arche home, that his health was very poor. He was not able to leave his bed. But he would like Ian to come and visit. An hour later, Ian was welcomed in and shown to Bill’s bedroom door. At Ian’s knock, Bill’s “Come in” was heard through the door. As the visitor opened the door, he saw a room of watery blues. The carpet was blue, the ceiling was blue, and walls with many pictures of lakes and rivers were blue. The bedspread was green.
In bed, Bill was holding the bedspread up under his chin.as Ian approached , he said, “It’s good to see you Bill. How are you doing?”
In reply, Bill just slowly pulled back the covers to show dark blue sheets and said, “WATER, WATER, WATER!” And laid back with a smile.
Not many days later, Bill died. At his funeral, Bill was remembered as a Celebrant of WATER, WATER, WATER. A celebrator of water in a world, largely indifferent to its importance for Bill, and the rest of us. …
Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust,
water to water.
This is a version of the story, I remember Ian telling me as we sipped several ale together on a cold October day in 2005. Ian’s fine collection of spiritual meditations on water has a slightly different version. See Ian Macdonald Living Waters Toronto, 2006. So maybe this version is most truthfully told by both Ian &Bob, like several of the other stories we near brothers tell for and on one another. Bob Haverluck Jan.14,2013)
Talking Water Project|Bob Haverluck (2013)