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TITLE: My Father's Well
By Theresa Kissinger

I wrote this for Writers Challenge but my father went into the hospital. I want it to be more encouraging than negative.
My Father’s Well

There have always been men in my life, men who encouraged me, men who laughed at me or thought I was smart or pretty. Most of these men impacted my life, but I never called any of them father. I only have one earthly father, his DNA and mine are a match. As the only daughter we are very different but we are also very much the same. He tolerated and even tried to accept our differences. We found we could be as comfortable in the long silences as with a loud disagreement. Time has not taught my father to be a father to a daughter but we have become friends.

Tonight he is sleeping in an unfamiliar place in an unfamiliar bed, alone. I’ll call the nurse in the CCU in a little while to see how he is doing and hopefully we’ll get through another night together, he hooked to monitors and oxygen. At the home he has shared with my family and me I will toss and turn and pray when awake.

I left the hospital today early, I was hurt, I got on his nerves, he didn’t say so of course. After almost 50 years together I can tell, I wanted him to eat he wanted to be left alone. I didn’t go back until morning when the nurse called to say he was back on the ventilator. It doesn’t matter if you are a son or daughter when it comes time to be there for our parents you realize this isn’t about you. It is too early to worry about the inheritance and most of the time too late for the hugs that died in their arms or the “I love you” s that dried up in their mouth.

Once, as a girl we lived in a house that had a dry well, several times a week my father hauled in drinking water from a near by natural spring. This water was for cooking and drinking only, so we learned how to conserve water. My mother took our clothes to the Laundromat and we had buckets of water for flushing and washing. My father was sure he could fix the pump which he was constantly working on and the pump did work but the well would go dry again. He would have a water truck come and fill the well and for a while we were lived like other people showers, baths, flushing, we washed everything. This was all only temporary because without a consistent supply of water the well would only dry up again.

My relationship with my father has always been the same way, he was my dry well and in order for me to take a drink I first made a deposit to fill up his emptiness. I tried, sometimes, and I was even proud that it worked. Tonight, I realized just how dried up his well had become and how dried up I would have been without a spring of water in me.

Drying up myself and running low on the few spiritual and emotional resources that I had, I found my own Spring of water. By my sixteenth birthday I was coping on an overdrawn account heading toward personal bankruptcy. On my way to my best friend’s house I walked through our neighbor’s yard when I was introduced to a man who, for my birthday introduced me to Jesus. He became my well and His word my oasis. I was watered just enough, not too much so as not to drown me enough to keep me alive until my roots began to thrive.

While studying one day I looked up an artesian well, which is a well with continuous supply. The well gushes water because the pressure of rocks in the well or hole actually help force the water through. My wells were stopped up but instead of taking out the rocks formed by alcoholism, abuse, poverty and neglect Jesus poured His water into me and the pressures began to force a living stream through my spirit. The rocks are still there, in fact more have been added but the steady stream of a relationship with Christ has reshaped and refashioned those rocks into a rock bed of purpose. I could be sure I would never thirst again, and I even had enough to share sometimes filling the water pots of others.

I wrote this a few days ago, since then my father has gone home to be with the Lord. Much has happened in our lives over the years but the other day while my brothers and our families and I stood around his bed singing ‘Amazing Grace’ he put his head down on his chest and slipped away. Not long ago my father stopped drinking at other peoples wells and dug one of his own. It may only have trickled but it was all he needed to never be thirsty again.

Thank God, my Heavenly Father, I found an artesian well I could plug into. Psalm 114:8 {NKJV} says that ‘it is the presence of the Lord which turns the rock into a pool and flint into a fountain of waters’. We can all have rocks in our wells and no matter what they are or why they form in us they are pressure, but the presence of the Lord will cause that water to begin to flow once more. Jesus said in John 4:14’ we may never thirst again’ because the water He gives becomes a springing well in us unto everlasting life.

Spring up Oh Well within my soul,
Spring up Oh Well and make me whole.
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