Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name,
because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you,
he will by no means lose his reward.
Many years ago, I was at the bottom of the well, in the pit of discouragement.
I felt battered and beaten, and the blows were from fellow Christians.
Like Judas' kiss, the pain ran deeper,
because from them I had expected the love and the kindness of the Lord.
This was the year I called the "Year of 22 Funerals"
and my heart was broken with the number of those souls that went into a lost eternity.
I was criticized for not smiling.
When women's gossip was repeated, believed and not validated,
we were removed from a ministry.
The more I suffered, the more I was criticized and rebuked.
I fully understood the saying, "only Christians shoot their wounded."
The world knows better.
The world offers sympathy cards, meals and kind words.
Even at your lowest time, the world can seem to know what to do.
I was at one of the 22 funerals. It was a good place to be since crying was expected.
I was meeting a friend to give her moral support, but she was late.
So late, she missed the funeral. People would occasionally turn to stare,
probably wondering about the stranger mourning the death of their miscarried child.
Some of their tears were for them, yes, I truly sorrowed for them,
but once the floodgates let loose, my broken heart could not stop.
After the funeral I sat in a lone hallway, where chairs were strategically placed for solitude.
I went through piles of Kleenex, somehow thankful for a scene
where my tears would not be challenged, criticized or scorned.
I wept and prayed and wept.
A man in a dark suit came quietly forward and offered me a Styrofoam cup of coffee
and a few animals crackers on a plain, inexpensive white napkin.
I thanked him, a bit surprised,
because I didn't know I had made my presence known,
as the funeral party had long since left the building.
He had the quiet manner of one trained to comfort others,
but it didn't matter to me if this was his job or not,
his simple act of kindness comforted my heart in such a way,
it was as if the Lord Jesus Himself had reached out to touch my heart and calm me.
I felt His presence through this one act of kindness.
I also realized that if I was so starved for love and affection from others,
that animal crackers and coffee surprised me and ministered to my parched soul like
manna from Heaven.
I also realized how little it takes to minister to one who's broken.
He didn't buy me a car, he didn't buy me a gift, he didn't even buy me dinner.
He poured a cup of coffee, found a few crackers and offered what he had available.
I have often looked back to this moment as one of the
most profound experiences in my life.
Through this I also learned how to get out of the pit,
forgive those who haven't confessed their sin against you,
rejoice in sufferings, be falsely accused,
and how to turn to the Lord in all my grief.
Even though it was a cup of coffee and not a cup of water,
it still fulfilled what the Lord is asking us to do to others -
we're to refresh them.
We're to bind up their broken hearts, to sooth their ruffled souls
and to give them strength for the day and bright hope for tomorrow.
All around us broken souls, both saved and unsaved people,
are longing for that cup of water,
a bit of soothing spiritual refreshment for their parched souls.
Can we answer the call?
What if this man had shook off that little nagging feeling to serve me?
What if he said -
"I'm too busy."
"That isn't part of my job."
"I really don't have a good snack, just a few old crackers."
We need to be sensitive to those around us,
we need to hear the voice of the Lord as He asks us to do little things for others.
We don't have to offer big things.
A cup of cold water is all the Lord asked us to offer.
Or in my case, a cup of coffee.
If you want to be encouraged in the ministry you can have with just a cup of coffee,
I highly recommend the book
First We Have Coffee by Margaret Jensen