Walloon Babies and Living Water

by Pastor Troy D. Cane



One Saturday afternoon in March 1891, two sisters, Bridget, aged nine and Mary, six were sent on an errand by their parents to collect butter from a Walloon homestead, only 500m from their home. Their father, who worked for the railway, Patrick Broderick, was well known locally.

Upon arrival at the homestead the girls found no one present, so they headed for home. On their way, they came to a local waterhole where attractive water lilies grew. Tragically, Bridget and Mary never arrived home.

A thorough search was launched – sadly, both girls were found drowned in that waterhole. It is thought that the appeal of those lilies drew them to the waters. Those bright flowers, that seemed so attractive and enticing, ended up being the thing that led to their deaths.

We are glad the Ipswich City Council erected a special feature in the local park in Walloon to remember this tragedy. It is a sad, yet a true historical event: two young people at a local water hole one afternoon. It is reminiscent of another historical event that occurred with two people who approached a water hole one afternoon. That being the true story of Jesus of Nazareth meeting a woman from Samaria.1.

Bridget and Mary Broderick came to that waterhole on their way home and the Gospel of John records that, as Jesus was on His way to His hometown, He too stopped at a waterhole.

He had travelled a long way that day and was weary, for Jesus was not only God, but He also took on human flesh and therefore experienced tiredness and thirst just as we do.

John tells us that, as Jesus sat beside that waterhole, a woman came to draw water. Perhaps this was a daily errand for her to collect water. Though we know only a few facts about the events that occurred in Walloon many years ago, we do know it was on an afternoon in the middle of an errand that the girls found themselves by Walloon’s water hole.

At that ancient waterhole, Jesus, a Jew, began to talk with the woman and asked her to draw Him some water. It was an unusual thing for a Jewish man to talk with a Samaritan woman, for Jews and Samaritans hated one another, a little like the hostilities that exist today between Jews and Palestinians. Jesus, however, did not have such hatred, actually He had a deep love for this woman’s never-dying soul. Out of love, He had deliberately gone there to speak with her – it was no chance happening! And it is no chance happening that you are reading this article today. Out of love, Jesus wants to speak with you and tell you things that you need to hear.

As the conversation unfolded, Jesus began to speak about another water that was available for her – living water. Speaking about the water in the waterhole, He said, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.2. Jesus was drawing the contrast between the waters of this world and the spiritual water He offers.

He said these words because He knew all about the things that she had been pursuing in her life in order to try and satisfy her deepest longing. However, she had discovered that the waters of this world never provide a lasting satisfaction.

Jesus’ words, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,” provide a precise summary of the lives of countless people in our world today – maybe even of you! His words could be written over the entrance of every pub: the so-called Aussie ‘water-hole’; written over every nightclub, brothel and place of entertainment! “Whoever drinks of those waters will thirst again.

Drinking from this world’s wells brings a temporary satisfaction, but it never lasts – the deep thirst of the soul is not quenched! Yet we all know that the waters of this world look enticing!

It is believed Bridget and Mary Broderick were drawn to the local water hole by those attractive lilies; those bright flowers; so appealing and enticing – but as they went in pursuit of them, they found themselves in deep water. They discovered that pursuing those things that seem attractive can lead to death.

This is exactly what our world says to us: ‘Here is something exciting; really appealing!’ ‘You need to drink alcohol; you need to experiment with drugs and sex.‘ But friend, you need to beware. It is a water lily! It appears so captivating, but it will lead you into deep water and eventually death! The Bible rightly says, “There is way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.3.

As Jesus speaks with this woman He tells her there is another water! Effectively He says, ‘The water that I offer will quench your soul’s thirst!’ ‘It is living water; it is like a continual bubbling spring; ever refreshing.‘ Jesus is speaking about a water of the soul, that which is not confined to satisfactions in this life. This living water provides everlasting life and it never runs dry.

Millions have discovered the satisfaction, refreshment and cleansing of this living water which Jesus Christ offers. But up to this point in the conversation with Jesus, the woman had not discovered it, nor fully understood what was said. So Jesus asked her a direct question, “Go, call your husband.

Initially she tried to cover up her sordid life – “I have no husband.” But Jesus knew that the man she was currently bedding with was not her husband. Within a moment she was exposed. Jesus knew all about her past; all about her broken relationships; her sexual conduct! Jesus knew how filthy she was before the pure standard of God’s law.

The Bible says, “there is no creature hidden from God’s sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.4.

In one moment the whole of her life was stripped bare! And friend, Jesus knows all about your past; He knows about the areas in your life today that are filthy before His pure standards.

Why did Jesus expose this woman? Why does He expose us? Because He loves us and He wants us to see how we desperately need ‘living water’. We not only need to have our thirsty soul satisfied, but we also need our filthy lives washed by Him.

This woman had spent all her life drinking of the stagnant waters of this world and still she thirst! But that afternoon by the well she was brought face to face with the Saviour who she so desperately needed.

water-liliesThis same Jesus is the One who can meet your deepest heart’s longing. He can wash away all your filthy past and present! Jesus said, “The water that I give, will become in you a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” There was something on offer in Samaria that day and there is something on offer today! God’s gift! Like any gift, you cannot earn it. You do not deserve it, but you must receive it!

The Broderick sisters left their home in Walloon on a simple errand, but they never came home. Proverbs 27:1 says, “You do not know what a day may bring forth.” You do not know what will unfold today or tomorrow. You do not know which day will be your last.

Now is the only time you can be sure about. Now is the time to drink living water! Now is the time to receive God’s gift of cleansing and eternal life. Do not say you will accept this gift later. There might never be a later! Like Mary and Bridget you might not even go to bed tonight! “Behold now is really the right time; behold now is the day of salvation.5. Jesus offers His living water to you today – will you take it?

God calls all people to turn from their filthy past and pray to Him for forgiveness. Why not turn to God today and begin to drink of His living water?

1. You will find this in the Bible in the Gospel of John, Chapter 4.Jhn 4:5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jhn 4:6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. Jhn 4:7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give Me a drink.'

2. John 4:13-14Jhn 4:13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, Jhn 4:14 'but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.'

3. Proverbs 14:12Pro 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

4. Hebrews 4:13Heb 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

5. 2 Corinthians 6:22Cor 6:2 For He says:'In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.' Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Mouse over to each verse to see the content…