‘Streams of living water’ by Jess


Jess thinks about the most refreshing stream of consciousness she’s ever discovered.

Streaming: transmitting and receiving data over a computer network, in a continuous flow.

Hey everybody – ever plunged into an ice-cold mountain stream, whilst hiking up said mountain in the middle of an incredibly humid and scorching African summer? It’s the single most refreshing moment… the water is pure, crystal-clear, and fresh. And COLD! You can refill your water bottle safely at that height, and once on the way again from your refreshing dip, your wet swimsuit under your clothing dries super quick. I recommend this sensory experience for your bucket list.

I love this analogy of water, with the streams of living water that the great teacher, Jesus, promised would flow from and within us, as His special gift to his followers. (Yes, for all you social media buffs, Jesus has followers!) But how exactly does this translate into our lives under the rule of COVID? How are we refreshed and hydrated in what can seem like a monotonous and sometimes perilous journey through Lockdown life? How do we thrive?

Can reeds flourish where there is no water?

From the discourse of the book of Job, the oldest of the sacred writings.

I remember one morning, between the moments of sleep and waking, that in my dreamlike state, I heard my pastor’s voice. Ian was counting… He was counting the followers who attended the online prayer meetings at West End Baptist. One, two, three… all the way up to nine. But there was one follower who was refusing to listen – to follow Ian as he guided us to the prayer meeting. It was me!

Too long my attendance had been sporadic, my participation in the live chat nil, and my engagement in the subject matter critical at best. But the call was crystal in its clarity. I couldn’t ignore it; just like the thirst I would have experienced on that mountain hike as I heard the nearby gurgle and rush of water beckoning me.

I woke up, and logged onto one of Ian’s daily devotionals. It was stimulating and I took the plunge as he called for reflection – I left a comment. My heart was beating and my hands sweaty with the courage I had to muster to rejoin the flock, but it began an exciting adventure I haven’t looked back on. Prayer meetings, Sunday service; I started to enjoy the live stream and as my participation in the fellowship of Jesus’ followers increased, so I found my thirst for knowing, and being known, assuaged.

With Jesus guiding me, I discovered more streams, more safe places to connect with other pilgrims. My favourite bands, conferences and other social media platforms besides YouTube. My joy and sense of safety and fulfilment grew and grew as I became regularly hydrated by these life-giving streams. Yes, sometimes I made my mistakes, and yes, the ever-present battle with my incomplete nature meant sometimes I floundered – but what is life if you play it safe all the time? And I was safe anyway! Jesus was with me.

With the encouragement of Ian and Esther, I began streaming myself, from various social media platforms. I discovered that the more I shared from the Shepherd, the more refreshed I became. It was supernatural in its power and all the time I heard more and more distinctly from the voice of the Shepherd… ‘follow me’. We together began engaging with Buddhists and businessman on LinkedIn, mystics and materialists on Instagram… people searching for living streams.

My next adventure is Twitter. Yes, to tweet or not to tweet… whatever the case, I’m immersing myself in the stream. How can I not, when the Good Shepherd says, ‘follow me ‘?

What are you Streaming?

Jerry Swartout, Poet

Jessica Nel is a digital content creator, working for the greatest creative in the business. Connect with her via Jess Thinks… on YouTube, and jessicanel7 on Instagram