In my early years, I remember my mother calling me her “little fish” when she’d beckon me out of my best friend’s backyard pool to come home for dinner. Those summer dinners I often ate still wearing my wet bathing suit while sitting on a towel covered chair. My dripping hair was bleached white from daily swims in chlorine treated pools and drying from summer sun. I’d eat quickly, eager to get back to swimming, ignoring the ‘wait until an hour after you eat’ rule. No rule could stop me from swimming, except no swimming in a thunder storm.
I loved being in the water, especially holding my breath under the water as long as possible while diving to the bottom of the deep end or swimming lengths without taking a breath. Our summer vacations were spent at lakes where we could jump off docks and ride waves on blow-up air mattresses. When not in the pool, my friends and I would be on our bikes riding to the shores of Lake Ontario to skip rocks over the waves and chase seagulls on the beach. I miss those waters.
Now I live in the prairies where lakes are smaller than the Great Lakes of Canada. But I still naturally seek out waters, whether it be the urban ponds or the city river. I spend as much time as I can in the Rocky Mountains drawn to places like Medicine Lake and Maligne Lake in Jasper, and if you were to take me on a road trip where waters appear alongside highways, my gaze would never be directed at you, only at the waters we are passing by. I can’t help it. I am living up to my name.
The name Lynn is Gaelic and Old English in origin, meaning “lake”, “waterfall” or “pool.” It is said the name would have probably been first given to a family living near a body of water. Maybe my city-born mother had a sense that I’d be drawn to waters so chose my name. She’s gone now so I cannot ask her why she named me Lynn. However, there is no denying that out of all my siblings, I was (am) the ‘fish’ of the family.
Sandi Somers began our month’s theme of “What is in a name” showing us how God has His hand in our names even when another names us. God gave her a verse that also represents the meaning of her name.
“Sandra means helper. In my twenties God gave me a verse which signified the special type of helper God meant me to be.
The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakes me and opens my understanding to his will. (Isaiah 50:4)”
I, too, have a verse that God gave me shortly after being emerged fully into waters during baptism.
Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. John 7:38
Water is an essential element for our survival. Our body cells, organs, and tissues need water to survive. Our body weight is approximately 60% of water. Even our brain is made up of 75% H2O. Low water intake or dehydration can cause muscle fatigue and weakness, and confusion. Is not the word of God as essential as water? I know if I become dehydrated from lack of His word, I become more worrisome, less energetic and overall confused of next steps to take. Accepting His ‘living water’ gift of the Holy Spirit brings us not only direction for our days, but eternal life forever.
Jesus’ time among us was spent on waters. He traveled by boat, He walked on the Sea Galilee, and fished with His friends, the disciples. The bible tells us of Jesus miracles including feeding 5,000 with just five bread loafs and two fish, and the miraculous catching of 153 fish when appearing to seven disciples after His death. It was after Peter witnessed this miracle that he changed from fisherman to evangelist. Like Peter, although we have not physically encountered Jesus, our life’s are changed when we drink in His words.
Swimming in waters, seeing the breath-taking beauty of Rocky Mountain lakes, and resting beside ocean waters replenish my mind and spirit. However, it is His living waters that flow within me that I cannot live without.
"Then Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty'" (John 6:35).
You can read more and see more of Lynn's photography for rest and renewal at Lynn's website.