I am the pastor of a Baptist Church on Daniel Island, SC. My world is defined by water. Geographically, we are surrounded by the waters of the Wando and Cooper Rivers. Spiritually it is where we begin, as we go down to the Wando for baptism. Water binds us together.
But it also binds us. The rivers around Charleston not only give us beauty, but also boundaries. You live East Cooper or West Ashley or James Island, or Daniel Island. The waters give us a geographical, social, and many times economic identity. Providence is on Daniel Island—an absolutely wonderful setting. We live in Mt. Pleasant—east of the Cooper River. We have talked about making the 6-mile move to Daniel Island. It would be so nice to walk to everything, to get rid of a car, to be more a part of the community. But my fear is that if we did move, I would never leave the island!
Which is why this sabbatical journey is so important! During this time we are going to explore the waters that bind us—in ways both good and bad. How do we allow barriers to bind us into routines that keep us from one another? What are the commonalities that bind us together—even when we don’t recognize it? For the truth is we are all bound together by water.
A few years ago I came across a wonderful little book by Maruso Emoto called The Hidden Messages in Water. He writes, “We start out life being 99% water, as fetuses. When we are born we are 90% water, and by the time we reach adulthood we are down to 70%...In other words, throughout our lives we exist mostly as water.”
This is a journey to break out of the confines of my life, to go places both physically and spiritually that I have never gone, but also to discover the ways that we really are bound together—by our common humanity, by water. It will be the journey of a lifetime.