“How full is your bucket?” This is the question asked by a best-selling book of the same name. It uses a metaphor of a bucket and a ladle to describe how selfish acts diminish the positive outlook of other people (symbolized by water in a bucket), and how self-giving acts replenish not just other people’s buckets, but our own as well.
It’s really a meditation on the infinite abundance of love.
We read the kids’ version of this story to Anna. She picked up on the metaphor right away, and I picked up on a couple of other points that the authors might have missed.
First, that depression is like a hole in your bucket. I know that when I got depressed none of the people or things that normally brought me joy could lift me out of the darkness. There’s a hole in the bucket, and—just like the song—any attempt on my part to patch that hole is futile. That’s why people who suffer from depression need to get help. You can’t will yourself to get better anymore than you can will away an infection or a major injury. Depression is not a lack of faith, in either God or in oneself, it’s a disease.
Second, that God has an infinite bucket filled with infinite water that never runs out. This is what Jesus told the woman at the well—”whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
God is love; a spring of living water that never runs out. And he fills us to overflowing.
When I wrote this post last Friday, I had no idea how tragically relevant it would become. If you’re struggling with depression and especially if you’ve thought of hurting yourself in any way, please seek help. 1-800-273-TALK.