Shortly after we opened a guest came up to me with a big smile on his face.

“I’ve got a way for Trump to get his wall built and for the Mexican government to pay for it.”

“Really? How so?”

“It needs to be four walls.”

“Why four walls?”

“It will be a wall around him.”

It was St. Patrick’s Day. A few guests wore green. One guest was completely in green. A guest asked me, “Do you know any Irish songs?” So I sang “Molly Malone.” I learned this song back in college. I had taken a voice class (long story) and my grade depended upon me performing this song in one of the college concert halls in front of students and music professors. The trauma inscribed the song in my memory forever. By the end of the song several other guests had joined in with the chorus. “Danny Boy” was then requested. We did not do so well on that one.

A guest told me he had been sick the past few weeks.

“With what?”

“I thought it was walking pneumonia. So I went to the doctor. He told me its cancer.”

“What kind?”

“I find out next week. Lymph nodes maybe, lungs maybe. I’m hurting.”

“Prayers. Prayers, and keep us informed.”

“I will.”

I sat down with a guest at the table in the house. Someone had left some religious pamphlets there with a Bible reading for each day. We started in reading about Jesus telling Peter to go fish again. Peter objected that they had fished all night and had not caught a thing. Jesus said go fish. Then they caught so many fish the boats almost sank from the weight. “Holy mackerel” said Peter! This was our newly revised abridged version (Luke 5:1-11).

The guest then asked, “What’s that passage about living water?”

“I think that’s in John’s Gospel.” I looked around and found a story about water. A lame man waited to get into the pool at Bethsaida. The version we had at hand read, “There lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool and troubled the water. Whosoever then first at the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had” (John 5:3-4).

We had to start singing,

“Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water.”

Meanwhile people were coming out of the showers. A freshly showered guest, I think in a red sweatshirt, exclaimed, “I feel like a new man!”

“Who’s that yonder dressed in red?
Wade in the water
Must be the children that Moses led
And God’s gonna trouble the water.”

“But where’s that living water passage?” the guest insisted as the song subsided.

“I think it’s in the Samaritan woman at the well story.” I had to turn back one chapter from the healing of the lame man. “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give shall be a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

“That’s what I’m talking about. That’s the water I wanted to hear about. That’s the water we need.”

“Couldn’t agree more. We’re pretty parched these days.”

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