instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Cisterns, wells, and springs

People get their water in all sorts of ways.

A cistern is a storage tank for water. You put water in, then you draw water out. A well draws water up from the water underground. A spring releases water pretty much on its own.

Now let water stand for charity and water sources for Christians.

Some Christians are cisterns of charity. They store up a certain amount, but without regular refills will soon go empty.

Others are wells, tapped into deep and hidden reservoirs. They won't run dry, but they do require maintenance to stay in good working order and continue to offer charity to others.

And some are springs of charity. Not only do they not run dry, their charity comes forth unbidden and inexhaustible.

The metaphor could be extended to include fountains, those whose charity is extravagant, even prodigal, a wonder to behold, and visible from afar.