“What ya doin’?” Billy called out from the middle of the street, craning his neck while trying to stay balanced on his two-wheeler. He turned into the driveway leaning his red bike on its kick stand and unfastened his helmet letting it fall into the grass. Wide-eyed, he ran back along the side of Mr. Mills’ house to join him in the backyard.
“Utilizing my resources,” replied Harold. Frequently, Mr. Mills was out grooming the front yard. On afternoons when the boy rode by, he and Harold had conversed on occasion about their good times with Billy’s late grandfather, Harold’s former next door neighbor. Yet, Billy had never noticed Mr. Mills out in the backyard.
“What’s re-sour-ces?” the boy inquired, repeating the word carefully while panting with his hands on his hips. He tucked his worn Superman figure in to his jeans front pocket and stood quietly watching Mr. Mills. Billy’s eyes followed the flow of the fresh water pouring in heavy spurts from the spout as Harold drew it, his wrinkled hands tight around the pump handle.
“All the things God has given you,” the elder answered him.
“How’d you find it?” the boy continued questioning in earnest.
“You gotta look for it, son,” Harold explained patiently as he pumped rhythmically like a ticking clock. “Ya think it’s gonna jump out and bite you on the butt?” joked Harold with a chuckle, adjusting his hat and maintaining the flow. Billy gave a half smile.
“Did God give everyone re-sour-ces?” Billy inquired, trying to comprehend.
“Every neighbor on White Street, you bet ya,” he answered the boy.
“Are you sure?” Billy continued questioning while he knelt down to retie his loose shoelace.
“That’s why they bought a house on this street because each one has a well,” he explained.
“What about Ricky’s?” Billy furthered, referring to his infrequent riding buddy.
“Well, son, your buddy lives on Grey Street so he couldn’t possibly have a well of resources,” he explained, manhandling the nearly full jug to place it carefully inside the storage shed nearby. He screwed the cap on tightly and returned, carrying out another empty jug.
“What if I get him to come live with me?” Billy wondered out loud. “Then could he get a well?”
“You’re thoughtful, son,” Harold complimented Billy, “but he needs to move to White Street to get a well,” Harold said. “There’s always a new tract of land available,” he spoke with assurance returning to grab the pump handle.
“Oh,” Billy muttered, “Okay,” rubbing his nose and processing it all.
“Y’ see, anyone can move to White Street any time,” Harold asserted, looking over into Billy’s almond eyes, “even people across town on Black Street.”
“Really?” Billy sounded encouraged, considering Ricky’s possibilities and observing Harold’s steadfast technique.
“Yep. You can get to White Street from anywhere,” he stated, eyeing Billy with a look of invitation on his face. “Wanna help?” Harold asked.
“Yes!” Billy divulged in excitement rubbing his hands up and down on the front of his jeans. Harold stepped aside and let Billy get a feel of the pumping motion. Billy placed his small hands around the handle, which suddenly looked rather large to Harold as he watched the boy struggle. Straining, then leaning in with every one of his sixty-eight pounds, he heaved, “Gosh, you’re strong, Mr. Mills! I can barely get it going,” he commented in awe, noticing the weathered hands hanging at eye level.
“Practice builds that muscle,” Harold shared, rousing the child’s strength. Harold leaned down with one hand delivering slight assistance, allowing the water to begin dribbling out in to the new jug.
“It’s so clean and sparkly!” Billy exclaimed in enthusiasm at the sight of the growing dribble sparkling in the sunlight as he continued pumping.
“Yeah,” Harold agreed. “It’s fresh alright.” He stepped back and permitted Billy take the lead. The youngster continued with all his strength just to maintain the dribble.
“I don’t know how much longer I can pump, Mr. Mills!” the boy exclaimed. He released the handle to examine his palms. “I think I’m getting a blister.” He rubbed the sore spot on his palm with his index finger and looked up at his grandfather’s former companion for direction.
“Once you locate your own,” Harold advised with a knowing in his eyes, “you’ll have the opportunity for a whole lot of practice.” He nodded in affirmation of Billy’s resolve.
“And I can wear my mittens so I don’t get a blister,” Billy planned, striving to emulate the mentor. Harold smiled in approval.
“Good job, son,” he praised Billy, tousling his blond hair. “Now go a huntin’,” he ordered.
The boy looked into Harold’s eyes, flashed a grin of anticipation, and dashed around to the front of the house. Fastening his helmet, he jumped on his bike and pushed off.
With a backward wave and a holler of thanks, he pedaled hard anticipating where in his backyard he would start searching.
Matthew 7:7, 8 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
John 7:37, 38 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”
Colossians 3:3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.