The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


October 12, 2013

We are all able to help someone else

Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Dec. 1, 2007. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

Living with a sense of purpose isn’t always easy, is it? Distractions splinter my focus into a hundred different directions — health concerns, worries about money, pressures of the job, pressures of life in general.

I’ve been living that kind of fragmented life in recent months. It’s draining and takes all the joy out of life. Living without a direct focus every day also inhibits gratitude. God always seems to send the right “zinger” my way to get me back on track.

Right when I needed it most, a mysterious book fairy who’s been leaving me inspirational treasures from time to time, left a copy of “Stories for the Heart” on my desk this week. God bless you, whoever you may be.

In the collection of inspirational stories, I found one I remembered from childhood. It’s called “The Keeper of the Springs.” Set in Austria, the story centers on an old man who lives far up in the mountains. The town below pays him to be a keeper of the springs. He had done his work so well for so long, a new generation came along that did not recognize or appreciate his efforts. Not realizing his value to the town, the council cut off his funding. After all, no one knew exactly what he did anyway.

When fall turned to winter, the streams feeding the town became clogged with leaves, twigs, and in some placed dammed up by mud and debris.

By spring, the water that reached the town was muddy and foul-smelling. Before long, townspeople who drank the water began to be sick.

The council re-convened and decided a keeper of the springs must do pretty important  — though seemingly insignificant  — work. Long, tedious walking along stream banks, fishing out leaves, limbs and debris had kept an abundance of fresh, clean water flowing down to them. Needless to say, they put him back into the budget.

It’s a good reminder that each of us is a “keeper of springs.” You may be a Sunday school teacher or religious leader imparting spiritual truths and nurturing faith in your pupils. You may be a parent, working through trial and error to instill good character traits in your children. You may be an elderly person, seemingly forgotten by others, who spends otherwise idle time praying for others. You may be a friend to someone, just walking beside them, sharing advice, encouragement, helping them sort through problems.

We are all in a position to go along quietly, and for the most part unnoticed, plucking debris out of the way and opening up channels of faith, hope, friendship, mercy or a better perspective for someone else.

We may not get paid for it, but being a keeper of springs is a pretty important job, don’t you think?

Text Only
  • News Bikes 1.jpg Re-Cycle: Get back in the saddle for an outdoor spin

    Beautiful, sunny days have been visiting the Mountain State with more frequency the past few weeks and with this we think of getting outside and pursuing various activities. (Videos in story)

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • crowcookbook Kitchen comfort

    For Janet Crow of Quinwood, this Easter marks a deeply personal miracle — that of countless prayers for her physical restoration whispered by people who cared more than she could’ve ever imagined.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Scholarship for girls in a health science field established at BAF

    In every community there is work to be done and each community member has something to contribute.

    April 20, 2014

  • Concord University mounting production of ‘Spoon River’

    Concord University’s Theatre Department will perform “Spoon River Anthology” by Edgar Lee Masters in the H.C. Paul Theatre April 23-26 at 8 p.m. nightly.

    April 20, 2014

  • Society seeking items for Vietnam War exhibit

    The Greenbrier Historical Society is seeking photographs, artifacts and local history to include in an upcoming exhibit about remembering the Vietnam War.

    April 20, 2014

  • Rock violinist, stand-up comic to perform in free events at Lewisburg

    The Greenbrier Valley Campus of New River Community and Technical College will celebrate Student Appreciation Week April 21-25 with a number of events including two special performances that are open to the public free of charge.

    April 20, 2014

  • Dance workshop, show planned

    The stars will shine brightly over the pyramids this month — only these pyramids will be in Beckley. And these stars will both twinkle and dance.

    April 20, 2014

  • Live transmission of The Met’s ‘Così fan tutte’ at GVT

    In partnership with The MET: Live in HD series, Greenbrier Valley Theatre presents a live transmission of Mozart’s joyful and heart-rendering masterpiece, “Così fan tutte,” Saturday at 12:55 p.m.

    April 20, 2014

  • Stories give us kinship with strangers

    Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published April 10, 2010.
    My dad was a coal miner. By the time I came along, he was working above ground as a tipple foreman.

    April 19, 2014

  • momrun Just do it W.Va.!

    “Missy’s here — we’re not going to win. Missy’s here…”
    Learning she was a perceived threat from two women whispering at the starting line behind her, women she had never met from among the hopping, stretching, Lycra-clad crowd, had one effect on Missy Burleson — a smile spreading as far as her feet were about to sprint her.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos