Where There's Water, There's Life

I flopped bonelessly across the bed and stared, unfocusing, at the ceiling.  I slowly closed my eyes against the harsh light of my thoughts.
I felt my wife’s weight on the bed as she sat down next to where I was laying.  Her voice floated toward me:
“What’s wrong?”
“Oh…I’ve failed.” I grumbled in what I hoped was a matter-of-fact tone.
“What do you mean?  Failed at what?”
Our daughter was visiting a friend’s house that evening, and it was arranged that I would pick her up.  As I turned onto one of the less savory streets of our city, my daughter pointed out a man sleeping on a bench at the bus stop.  “How sad…” She commented.
“And I just drove on.”  I groaned.  “I didn’t stop or anything.  My daughter watched me as I passed by someone who was apparently in need.”
I felt my wife’s hand brush across the top of my head.
“Why didn’t you?”
“I’ve got a thousand excuses.  All cop-outs.  I didn’t have anything to give to him. I couldn’t get to where he was without crossing several lanes of traffic, then parking at a grocery store, then walking over to the bus stop while leaving our kid in the car.  In that neighborhood.”
My wife’s hand stopped. “What else?”
She had accurately sensed that those were all just excuses I created after the fact. After I had failed to stop and give help, I came up with all sorts of ideas as to why I didn’t.
I sighed.  “I didn’t think of it until I was about three blocks down the road.  I wasn’t thinking much about helping others, I was just “being Dad,” concentrating on getting my kid home. I suppose I could have turned back, but then all those excuses came to mind and I just kept going.”
She resumed her hair-stroking.  “Your reasons don’t sound too much like cop-outs to me, but I think you may be feeling guilty because, for a moment, you’ve forgotten who you are.”
We sat in silence for a few heavy moments, then her voice reached my ears again.
“Why don’t you try this…”
Now, in the front seat of my car and within easy reach lies a small duffel bag.  It is always stocked with water bottles, each bearing the Rook symbol.  They not only serve as a constant reminder of who I am as well as my mission, they provide ready access to something everyone who lives in my neck of the desert needs.  It’s an easy, convenient way to help others when you’re busily going about the other part of your life.