Symptom? or Disease?

contaminated water

Water is life-giving. Humans depend upon it for survival – not only because our own bodies require water, but because we depend upon crops and livestock for food. A healthy water supply contributes to a healthy ecosystem.

But what happens when a community’s water supply becomes contaminated? Let’s say it’s a remote community, a place cut off by war or poor infrastructure from modern methods of importing resources. Sickness increases, especially among the children, as the villagers ingest contaminated water. But one aid organization is able to come in and provide water filtration devices for every home. Water collected in small amounts can be filtered and ingested safely. It is enough to safely hydrate every person in the village.

But what about the animals? What about bathing? What about cooking? What about the crops? The people drink clean water, but their health is still threatened because the ecosystem is still contaminated.

When things are broken in our society, what happens when we treat the symptom, but don’t treat the disease? A single mother receives a box of food at the food pantry. It is enough to supplement so she can feed her young family for a week. But the cost of housing and childcare is well beyond what she earns. Finding funds and time to further her education so she can apply for higher-paying jobs seems impossible.

Meeting basic, day-to-day needs (i.e. food pantry, bus pass, shelter for a night) is essential. But how can churches¬†seek to “improve the water supply” (housing, jobs, childcare, education, youth programs, etc.) of our communities by working to make changes that go beyond meeting immediate, short-term needs?

You may have heard, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” But what good is this if the fish are coming out of contaminated waters? What can we all do to help improve the health of the “water” the “fish” are swimming in, so that the entire village can be fed?


Prayer Focus Today: ¬†Pray for the council members of the Fort Worth City Council, that they may have eyes to see and ears to hear so they will know the “diseases” of their districts and seek real solutions, not just treat the symptoms.

One thought on “Symptom? or Disease?

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  1. I am greatly concerned about the river too. The Trinity flows near our neighborhood where there are beautiful new homes built in the 100 year flood plain. The City of Fort Worth continues to approve construction in this flood plain. The projects and development for entertainment and economic gains affects more than meets the eye. Rain and drainage also back up in other people, neighborhoods and cities that don’t always get a say. Trickle down.


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