“I’m the Garden Hose Water Flows Through…”

Dear Reader:

Joyce Carol Oates, famous author, once commented that she never gave her writing much thought, especially her part in it…she was simply doing what came naturally to her….“I’m the garden hose water flows through.”

Isn’t that true of all of us? No matter what passions, talents, or expertise we are given…we are simply God’s vessel through which our unique gifts are allowed to flow out to others, just as their vessels flow back to us.

As you can see from the title photo…I was out watering last evening the yellow mandevilla and admiring my new wooden “frame” fence decor. I ordered it months ago and it must have gotten lost in transit…suddenly the door bell rang yesterday and the UPS man handed me the package.

It had been so long I had forgotten I even ordered it. It was just a plain little wooden frame with no picture. But there was something in its simplicity that spoke to me. I grabbed my hammer and a nail and attached it to the fence.

The simple little empty frame can contain any picture or pictures I wish to imagine…flower pictures or garden or sky pictures…the only limit to what it can depict is my own imagination. If the yellow mandevilla takes off climbing one day…it is quite possible a true-life picture will develop with yellow flowers falling through the frame slots…a 3-D taste of nature. I can hardly wait!

Besides saying “rabbit” on the first day of July I really haven’t appreciated July perhaps like I should have. It has actually been a little more bearable this year than some summers I can remember…with rain showers to cool the temperatures off and surprisingly cool fronts getting the temps back in the 80’s …which is cool weather for the lowcountry in July.

Gin-g sent me a sweet daily devotion on the significance of daily greetings that we never think about as we go into automatic pilot with automated responses… like “Hello”… “How are you”… or “Good-bye.” There is always a story behind every word and expression we use…which I find fascinating.

Let’s look at “Hello.”

.It turns out that “hello” is a contraction of the old English greeting “whole be thou.” The original greeting conveys two important messages. On the one hand is the wish that the other person be whole in body, mind and spirit. On another level, “whole be thou” acknowledges a spiritual truth. It reminds us that the other person, and every person, is already whole.

When we initiate a greeting saying “Hello” or commenting that we are fine to another’s “How are you”… have you ever wondered if you really are fine….not physically but spiritually?

Scripture tells us what the criteria is for assessing this comment and our response. It is so short…I think we can all remember it.

When Jesus  was asked, “How do I know I am doing well spiritually?”  He answered:   37 …‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”  Matt 22:37-40

Thank you Jesus for giving us such a simple and complete list.

  1. Love God
  2. Love people.

Like my simple little open wooden frame…we can fill our lives with happiness and joy or sadness and despair…our own picture is painted each day by our own actions and choices.

So until tomorrow…before we respond to these daily ritual greetings (“Hello” or “How are you?”) this morning or any morning…let’s ask ourselves…Am I showing God’s love this morning by loving people… as God asked us to do? We are all God’s children and loved by Him.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh





About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to “I’m the Garden Hose Water Flows Through…”

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Good morning. ..looking forward to seeing you and greeting you…hello, how are you…

    On Jul 29, 2017 6:05 AM, “Chapel of Hope Stories” wrote:

    > Becky Dingle posted: ” Dear Reader: Joyce Carol Oates, famous author, once > commented that she never gave her writing much thought, especially her part > in it…she was simply doing what came naturally to her….”I’m the garden > hose water flows through.” Isn’t that true” >


  2. bcparkison says:

    Good morning to you Miss Becky, Love this post and the frame is going to be perfect when the vine makes it’s way over and through. I have seen others put mirrors on a fence but I think I like this better. Sometimes what we see in the mirror isn’t what we want to see. lol


    • Becky Dingle says:

      So true! I would be terrified if I saw my reflection while watering (usually sweaty and hot!) …enough to send me running for help!


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