Last year, on a warm afternoon in early June, Aimee and I sat basking in the sun on her patio. We admired the bouquet of purple and yellow spring flowers in a little vase on the table. We munched on chips (and chocolate). We looked at magazines together.
This wasn’t the original plan. Aimee had planned a trip to Wildlife Safari that day, with a few large vehicles that would be happily crammed with friends and family.
Unfortunately, however, it didn’t quite work out. Ryan’s and Aimee’s well, 20- or 30- some years old, picked the evening before the anticipated trip to act up and claim everyone’s attention for itself.
As Aimee and I sat in the sun, snacking, sipping lemonade, reading, and chatting every now and again, I marvelled. Aimee did not once complain about the well, or about the precious time it was stealing from her and Ryan (and it did!). She was disappointed that her idea for a grand day out didn’t fly, but, well (no pun intended), she made the most of a gorgeous afternoon, and enjoyed the camaraderie of two sisters just being in the sun, and the occasional hug and kiss from both Ian, who spent the bulk of his time running around with his friend Bridger, and from Ryan, when he had a moment to spare.
And I marvelled at Ryan. I know that well cost an exorbitant amount of time, effort, and money to repair. But rather than being (or at least acting) angry, he tackled it…and tackled it…and eventually–with more than a little help from his friends!— wrestled it into producing water again.
For a while, sitting there with Aimee, I wondered which of a hundred things I should say, like “I’m so sorry the trip didn’t work out,” or “I want you to know how glad I am to be here”, or “You’re a total inspiration to me.” Nothing slid into place on my tongue or in my spirit.
So we sat, and enjoyed the afternoon, content to be soaking up the warm weather and the warm fellowship, and listening to the sounds and voices coming from the vicinity of the well.
The Other Well
And later, in remembering that afternoon in words, it struck me: in spite of everything she was going through—pain, extreme loss, grief and sorrow—she was content. Partly because of her personality, but even more so by God’s supernatural gift. She often mentioned that God was giving her peace, something those around her weren’t always feeling!
The Holy Spirit of God impressed on the Apostle Paul the words: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6). And it struck me again: Aimee, by choosing to be content, actually gained. She gained peace instead of angst, joy in what she could do instead of resentment at what she couldn’t, pleasure in a quiet activity in spite of being foiled in another.
This is Aimee’s legacy to me. Instead of griping about a broken well, just chill out. Take a drink and accept God’s offer of a drink from His bottomless well of contentment.
by: Lori Goertzen Huber, Sister
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer, and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her dogs. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books, and now with the Selah Journal: A reflective journal and mini-retreat. Start your own daily gratitude practice with our, “7 Days of Gratitude Challenge – A Gratitude Journal Starter Kit”.