Here’s a little sign seen frequently along freeways, parks, and other public places in Tucson, Arizona.

While vacationing in Tucson last spring, we discovered the Sweetwater Wetlands, a hidden place whose amazing life and beauty depend upon water reclaimed from Tucson’s sewers. The wetlands became our favorite observation spot for wildlife. (See post,

Sweetwater Wetlands

  This year, we found another place that depends upon this recycled water. It’s called Christopher Columbus Park, the centerpiece of which is a  man-made lake with an island and sandy beaches. It is stocked with fish for the local fishermen. The lake is home to several species of ducks and geese, cormorants that perch on the island to dry their wings, and many species of song birds.

Christopher Columbus Park

Some of the reclaimed water is pumped from the Sweetwater treatment facility into deep basins from which it filters down to recharge the water table.  Eventually, it is drawn up through wells and used to irrigate roadside landscaping and other public places. The purple signs show us where this water is used.

Reclamation Pond with Resting Ducks

Earlier generations told their children, “Waste not, want not.” Today we are again learning the value of reclaiming materials we used to discard. Our house’s sturdy deck planking is made from recycled milk cartons. In places, we drive on road surfaces containing ground-up tires. Garbage companies compost food and garden waste to make new soil.

But the most amazing reclamation project of all history got underway when Jesus came to seek and to save those lost in the garbage of sin. He paid a huge price…his own life…for all that refuse. When he burst out of the tomb on Easter morning, he held in his nail-scarred hands the gift of new life for all who believe in him. He’s still offering this gift to all us wrong-turn people who waste and ruin our lives.

He promises to reclaim us and our experiences, good and bad, and help us become who he intended us to be. That’s the Good News of Easter!

Reclaim: Verb
    Retrieve or recover (something previously lost, given, or paid); obtain the return of

    Redeem (someone) from a state of vice; reform.

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