The fountain had been still for too long during the drought but now sparkling cold water flowed in great waves, washing away the dust and despair. A man dipped his hat into the pool, pouring the water over his head and body.
When the woman came to the fountain, a chill came over the crowd and they stiffly parted ways to let her in. She seemed to ignore the snub, walking to the water and kneeling beside the flowing stream. She plunged her hands into the water and then drank from her cupped hands.
"What's she doing here?" The words rippled through the crowd. "She doesn't belong here."
Foreigner. Outsider. Stranger. Sinner.
"We are here to celebrate the end of the drought!" A deep voice hovered above the crowd and they turned eager eyes to the man standing on the back of the wagon. "We prayed for relief and God heard us. God heard us!"
The woman slowly rose, now standing at the edge of the crowd. She raised her hands above her head and began to sing, "My joy is in you, Lord. You are my joy and my life."
At first, others grumbled as she sang, but her voice was pure and clean, flowing out into the people. The words floated like morning mist but began to settle. Faces changed. Worry lines softened and scowls faded.
Then a man across the way lifted his hat into the air. He linked his voice with the woman's and they sang.
The words flowed through the crowd and others began to pick up the melody. Soon the crowd was singing, swaying slightly to the rhythm of the song.
"We are your people," the man on the wagon said loudly. "You are our source of joy and we are your people."
The drought of the land had ended with the rains but the drought of the hearts had begun to fade as well as the crowd joined together. "My source of joy is in you," was their new song.