Farewell, Dirty Water

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Problems we can’t solve:

  • Predestination or free will?
  • Donald Trump’s hair
  • Conflicts over biblical interpretation
  • Church splits
  • Televangelists
  • Gross communion wafers
  • Schisms
  • Internet trolls
  • Disunity 

Problems we CAN solve:

  • Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
  •  Every 19 seconds, a mother loses one of her children to a water-related illness. 
  • Just one flush of a toilet in the U.S. uses more water than most Africans have to perform an entire day’s worth of cleaning, cooking, washing, and drinking.
  •  Unclean water and poor sanitation affects over 1 billion people. 
  • These numbers would drop dramatically if those affected had access to clean water, basic sanitation (toilets!), and hygiene—all of which we take for granted and all of which Charity:Water provides to those in need. 

As many of you have pointed out in your Rally to Restore Unity synchroblog posts, the best way to bring together Calvinists and Arminians, Catholics and Protestants, Anglicans and Baptists, Republicans and Democrats, Emergents and Fundamentalists, Pentecostals and Presbyterians is to get our hands dirty by putting our common faith into action.  

The point of unity is to keep the Body functioning—not to make all the parts the same or to try and force everyone to agree, but to ensure that we don’t allow the very differences that make us so beautiful and diverse and adaptive cripple us to the point of uselessness. 

Like you, I am convinced that unity is not to be found in a board room or at a conference, through a manifesto or in a doctrinal statement. It probably won’t be achieved in a single moment or on a global scale. It can’t be arrived at, or decided upon, or perhaps even restored. 

Like faith, unity is found in daily acts of obedience

Loving God. Loving people. Following Jesus. 

And often, it is in the act of obedience that we stumble upon that elusive, indescribable thing that we all have in common: the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead living in each one of us. 

We will probably never solve the theological and philosophical conflict between predestination and free will.  But we CAN solve the water crisis.  Wouldn’t it be great if, instead of being known for bidding “farewell” to one another, Christians were known for bidding “farewell” to dirty water?

 If you share this dream, please consider donating to Charity:Water today. (We've already raised nearly $1500!)

You will notice that I changed our goal from $5,000 to $2500. I did that because I really want this to be doable for us. $2500 won’t build a well, but it will build half of one, providing clean water to 125 people and 25 families.  Similarly, the Rally to Restore Unity certainly won’t restore Christian unity on a global scale …but for a few hours this week it made us laugh together and look for common ground. 

And I think that counts for something. 


Please consider using the “tweet” option below to spread the word! (Wouldn’t it be great if “dirty water” trended!)

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