Bridge for Faith

Hot Water, Icy Water, Refreshing Water, and Living Water

Water is an amazing, wonderful substance, isn’t it? It not only sustains life, but washes away grime and refreshes us, which leads to this post about the Japanese ofuro and waterfalls, cool fountains, and “living water.”

When I lived in Japan, I gained a great appreciation for the steaming hot water of the ofuro, a deep, wooden tub used for daily baths. After the first minutes (aka shock) of adjusting to the temperature, the water always proved a balm for tiredness. Not only that, but the warmth lingered even when I went outside in the winter. A mirror would show me that my face was almost as red as a lobster, but that was a small price to pay for tingling skin and relaxed muscles.

A far less common custom in Japan makes use of icy cold water. One of my friends told about standing under a waterfall for its sensation of cleansing, both physically and spiritually. Although there are many lovely Japanese waterfalls, you might guess that I bypassed that stimulating experience.

If you visit Dallas Baptist University, the sight of ponds and beautiful fountains, like the one in the photo, can make you feel a tiny bit cooler on a hot Texas day, and even more so if a breeze carries a little of the spray. Can you imagine the temporary relief? (Okay, really small and temporary.)

Fountains can also be reminders of the “living water” Jesus spoke about (John 4). Since His “living water” leads to a never-ending relationship with God—the Source of life and everything good, I’m sure we’d agree that nothing else, no matter how refreshing, can come close to that!

Still, the ofuro is part of a splendid custom that our American showers don’t quite match, and I miss it, especially after long days.

Have you experienced any out-of-the-ordinary customs that you sometimes miss? Please share if one comes to mind.

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7 Responses to Hot Water, Icy Water, Refreshing Water, and Living Water

  1. Hannah Boardman (Choi) October 23, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

    Mrs. Boyles, you remind me of how I miss spas in Korea. I love a hot tub.
    It was not easy for me to forget about how much I wanted to be in a spa during the first couple of years in the states away from Korea.
    Thank you for sharing!
    ( Hi June, glad to see your name here!)

    • Elizabeth Ann Boyles October 25, 2017 at 9:39 pm #

      Great to hear from you, Hannah! You probably didn’t expect to miss a hot tub when you left Korea. I guess it’s part of the adventure of coming to a foreign country – unexpectedly losing some good customs but gaining others.

    • June October 31, 2017 at 11:45 pm #

      Hello Hannah~~~ how nice to see you, too 🙂 I’ve heard many good news 🙂 Congratulations!!!

  2. Kathy Collins October 23, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    I, too, marvel @ the many uses & forms of water. No living thing can survive without it! Such an important reminder for us to be the good stewards of God’s creation that He charged us to be…

    • Elizabeth Ann Boyles October 23, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

      Thanks for commenting, Kathy. I love your remark about water being God’s creation. How remarkable that He bound hydrogen atoms to an oxygen atom to make such a wonderful substance!

  3. June October 21, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

    Whenever I take a shower with plenty of hot water, I always feel very thankful and can’t imagine how we could live without water physically. Even so, how much a living water,Jesus, would be needed for thirsty souls spiritually.

    In Korea there are many public baths with hot water, cold water, and sauna. There are 2 Korean big spas in Dallas and Carrollton ( They are very popular with Americans even though I’ve never been; too shy 🙂 If you missed the old time in Japan for relaxation and body massage~~~

    • Elizabeth Ann Boyles October 23, 2017 at 11:29 am #

      Thanks for the recommendation! The Dallas spas sound enticing.

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