Drinking From the Spring of Hope
Updated: Apr 7, 2022
Greetings from Eureka Springs! Chris and I spent the past couple of days surveying the lay of the land. This is a quirky, eclectic place with rocky escarpments, steep slopes, and springs flowing at every turn. As the water freely flows, the ever-present Holy Spirit is flowing just as freely in and through us.
I didn’t expect the narrow roads, tight turns, or homes to be literally stacked one on top of the other. Nor did I expect so much lostness and contrariness in those we have encountered. From the outset, day one’s laundry mat visit turned into a ministry call. Within minutes of turning on our washing machine, we witnessed the police arrest a man in the parking lot a few feet from us. As I watched his female companion tearfully kiss her hand-cuffed friend farewell, my heart swelled with compassion that turned to action. This was my first exposure to an arrest and though startled, curiosity and the Holy Spirit prompted me to find out more. With Chris nearby, I left the monitored safety of the laundry to pursue the left-behind woman and found her sitting in a van that was packed for living more than traveling. I approached with boldness (you see, the Holy Spirit must be flowing here because if you knew my introverted self-contained self, you would realize that something supernatural, beyond myself, was moving me to action) and asked, “I am wondering if you are okay?” Our conversation unfolds:
“No, I’m not,” she responds. Then her expression softens from a protective hardness to a childlike wariness and she says, “I don’t know what I am going to do.”
I query next, “I watched some of what happened just now and thought maybe you would like a hug. Would that be ok?”
“Oh, yes,” she says, as her tears freely flowed. Stepping out of her van she continues, “I could use a hug.”
After a long embrace, I mean the kind your Mom gives you after you've been away for years, I look into her desperate eyes and see she wears the armor and battle scars of hard living. Through my best reassuring smile, I say, “My name is Susan and I want to let you know I care. I care about you. You are not alone. What is your first name?”
“Sunshine,” she says.
With gusto I answer, “I love your name. You must be a bright spot everywhere you go. I am new to the area. I imagine you must be having a hard time with what just took place. I know I would feel out of sorts if I were in your shoes. Are you going to be okay?”
“I don’t know,” she says, “I am lost right now.”
My gentleness and respect and certainly the Holy Spirit’s presence provide a safe place for her to disclose that she is homeless, living out of a minivan, her friend was arrested on an outstanding warrant, two thousand dollars is needed right away, and they had just returned to the area from somewhere else. I think to myself the laundry mat’s bathroom might be a place of respite for those who have no home.
Not knowing how to tangibly help, I listen to the Spirit’s whisper, “Tell her I am her Hope.” Eager to obey, I say, “I can see, Sunshine, that this situation you’re in is a difficult one and you may be at a loss when it comes to solving the challenges you face. I want to tell you, though, that no situation, no matter how difficult or hopeless, is impossible for the One Who Holds All Things in His Hands. You are not alone. Others have traveled through the place of Difficulty. I myself have been to the Impossible and Difficult places but I want you to know I met much help when I took hold of the hand that was beautifully scarred for me. Jesus reached for me with His powerfully loving and unconditional hand in the difficult place I had made for myself. When I chose to take His hand, He set my feet on the secure foundation of His path. His way is the only path to Peace and Love and Belonging. He does not fail to rescue those who call on Him for help. He did not fail me. He will not fail to help you. He is our Hope that all is well and we will be okay. Can I show you how you can know Him to help you in your place of difficulty?” “Yes, I would like that,” she says, and we briefly continue our conversation.
I wish I could tell you there is a happy ending to Sunshine’s trouble but I can’t because I don’t know how it all turned out for her or her friend. I left her with my encouragement and prayer and a human hug, and most importantly, with the opportunity to take hold of the Father’s hand and to drink from His never-ending Hope spring. I trust He knows how to help her from this point forward. He is the One Who Provides Springs of Living Waters for the soul-thirsty. He says, “Here I am!” to everyone who wants to drink from His free cup of delicious, thirst-quenching righteousness.
Come Thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy praise
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love
Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope by Thy great pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood…
Here’s my heart
Oh take and seal it
Seal it for thy courts above.
And that, dear friend, is the beginning of our time in Eureka Springs. You may find it interesting to know that down the street from our little Eureka Springs cottage is a spring named, "Laundry Spring." Let the drinking begin! I am drinking daily from the Fount of Living Water that was sprinkled over all the Earth for all the Earth. I pray you are doing the same. You are loved. He is here. He is our Hope Spring. All is well.
-Susan of the Wildflowers