Wall Drug and Living Water

boy drinking water on faucet
Photo by Chaucharanje on Pexels.com

You’ve heard about Wall Drug Store, right? Or seen one of the many signs for it?

Back during the Depression (1931), Ted (a pharmacist) and Dorothy Hustead wanted to open up a drugstore in a small town … the only requirement was that the town would have a church. They chose the town of Wall and as Ted completed pharmacy school, they settled in to develop a good business. But alas … five years later, the store still wasn’t attracting customers.

But one hot afternoon, Dorothy had an idea. She was watching the people drive by on the highway on that very warm day and she said to Ted something like “Driving today must be miserable.” (Remember this was before AC) “I imagine they would welcome a cool glass of water. Let’s invite them to stop for an icy drink..” Immediately Ted began drawing and putting up signs and before he was even done, they had customers.

Still – now in 2020 – they give out free iced water to weary travelers (and 5 cents cups of coffee). And now as many as 20,000 people stop by in a day. Signs for Wall Drug are all over the world and the complex is now a major tourist attraction. Cliched and corny, but fun.

Next time you’re at Wall Drug or see a sign for the place, talk with your kids about the beginning of Wall Drug. Yes, the Husteads needed to make money, but they also wanted to help the hot and worn out travelers. (BTW – we would stop on the way to camp and get a strawberry ice cream soda.) Remind your kids of the gift of Living Water we get from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Living Water is talked about twice in God’s Word. When Christ meets the women at the well, He tells her: If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you Living Water. (John 4:10)

We get further information in John 7:37-39.

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of Living Water. Now this He said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Here we read that it is the Holy Spirit within us that is the refreshing Living Water. Through the Holy Spirit, we are sealed, taught, comforted … (Remember the list from the post earlier in the month?)

Just as a third generation of Husteads refresh their travelers with their physical water, so the Holy Spirit refreshes us with an eternal, life-giving flow.



    1. Ken and I spoke at a camp in Montana so often stopped at Wall Drug on the way … and read their story. Thanks for commenting.


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