by Kari Diane Pike
On the first of the month, I attended the annual writer’s conference sponsored by ANWA. I learned that I am a writer! I have a love of words, an appreciation for the written word and I have been gifted with a passion to share the light and truth that lies within each of us.
Something huge came to my attention as I sat and listened to incredible women share their own truth and light. I am not my “experiences.” I am of infinite worth simply because I exist – a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me. I am Intelligence, clothed in Spirit and placed in a physical body so that I can become like my Heavenly parents. I have heard (and even written and said) these things many times, but for some reason, on March 1st, 2008, I heard that little “click” as the light switch turned on and felt the warmth of that light fill my entire being. Who I am does not depend on praise or adoration or even criticism from others. While praise feeds my ego, it is like the cistern described in Jeremiah 2:13, broken and unable to hold water. The story in John 4 where Jesus asks the woman of Samaria to give him water from Jacob’s well, has new significance for me. How often have I, like the woman of Samaria, not recognized the Savior and questioned why he would bother with me? How often have I been given “tasks” or “gifts” and wondered, “Why me?” because I felt inadequate or unequal to the task, just as the woman of Samaria may have felt “unequal” to the Savior, he being a Jew? And how often has he lovingly put his arms around me and led me to that fountain of living waters, just as he testified to her of his divinity? We find strength and joy and peace through the knowledge of who we are and who the Savior is. We learn to recognize that the outside things – experiences, accomplishments, the way we look, perceived failures, and actions of others- are what is described in 2 Peter 2:17 –“These are wells without water, clouds that are carried without a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever.”
Jesus bore witness to the woman of Samaria that, “Whosever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up in to everlasting life.” As we come to know and recognize Christ we begin to fill our well with that “living water”, or light and truth and love of God. With that living water we find we can grow and flourish no matter where we are or what we are experiencing. The light and truth that comes from partaking of the living waters will never fail us. No one can take it away from us or turn it off without our permission. Just before her passing, Linda Shelly Whiting wrote a poem that reawakened a yearning in my heart to come to know our Savior. Here are her words:
The cat’s claw vine climbs
The wall by the courtyard
Next to the garage.
Wild exuberant unrestrained
Inch by inch it heads for the sky
Tiny sticky prongs grabbing
Onto white stucco as it
Pushes each center sprout up
Toward that fire in the firmament.
Growing recklessly, with abandon
Branches soon cover the garage door.
Walking through the garage one day
I see a branch probing down inside
Through a crack of light at the top
I laugh, wondering why it entered,
Then notice the large fluorescent lighting on the ceiling
Flooding the garaged with light.
Someone must have left the light on all night!
I switch the lights off
Two days later, walking through the garage
I see a withered branch of cat’s claw near the crack.
I stop, and look at it in dread.
How often have I followed bright lights that deceive,
Leading to destructive, hurtful paths
Even knowing Christ is the Light of the World?