By Season Fulton
This morning on my way to work as I listened to happy, peppy music, I drove passed a large crane lifting a piece of cement. A new bridge was being built. A moment later I passed a team constructing a parking garage and another working on a hospital. In the ten minutes that followed, I spotted workers installing pipes, signs and sidewalks. The song mentioned something about the future and I thought about my own. This is what my community is building for our future, for our children’s future. These roads and hospitals will be here long after we’re gone.
I arrived at my office and sat down to review new pictures from our projects. The images appear to be from a time long past. Barefoot, dusty children and dry, colorless landscapes contrasted only by bright and glittery fabric masking an old woman’s wrinkled skin, falling over her shoulder and draping down to frayed and darkened ends that hung just above a sooty floor. These were people who don’t dwell in the future but simply try to make it through today alive.
As I noticed the bright, woven fabric of the woman’s sari again, it reminded me of us. Like a tapestry, common threads connect us all. Some of us are the brightly colored portions that stay safely wrapped around her face. Some are the frayed edges, torn and muddied, barely hanging on. But as a shawl salesman in Bombay once showed me, it only takes one thread to unravel the whole fabric.
It is a painful and heartbreaking thing to see people like these in extreme, urgent need. We’re often so far removed from them and it is unlikely that we’ll ever come face to face with somebody like this in our everyday lives.
The Internet has opened portals through which these images of suffering appear normal. Being half a world away can make pictures seem as unreal as the pictures we see of surface cracks on Mars, but the woman in the picture I look at this morning is feeling and living and breathing the same breath that God grants us all.
We are connected in time. What we are neglecting today could unravel tomorrow.
If we don’t give attention to those living on the edges of society, we risk building a world that, when failing at its margins, may just as easily fail at its core.
Because our organization helps to drill water wells throughout India, I hear the quote often, “water is essential to life.” This true statement means so much more when I hear it from those who do not have it.
For those without water, this statement is referring to more than a shower and clean hands. Having water means that getting an education becomes a possibility for a girl. Having water means health for another day of hard work. Having water makes life possible. SOS helps provides water to communities all over India and because it meets a need today as well as a need in the years to come. I have been blessed to see many communities changed by a water well, to shake hands with teary-eyed grandmas who put their hand over their hearts in gratitude. This means life to their babies, and an end to generations of death and disease. Yet it is so simple to us.
That is a future I want to be building for my children; one built with strong bridges and paved with acts of kindness… one with water for a thirsty world.
“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4
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