A Cup of Cold Water

cup cold water drink“We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”  Jesus, from The Message paraphrase of the Bible Matth 10:40-42)

I wrote a short note to a friend last week. Knowing she had recently went through a trying time, I told her that she had a rare and precious soul.  I meant to just give her a few simple words that were true and directed to her heart. Just a simple “cup of cold water” from one heart to another.

To my surprise, she told me that those few words were the kindest thing that had ever been said to her. She wrote, “It is true that we do not say kind words to our friends often enough.  Especially when they are going through trying times, a few words of kindness can suddenly make them not feel as lonely or flawed in some way but special.  Life can be difficult.”

Frankly, I was stunned, on a variety of levels.  First, I marveled that sometimes just a few words “fitly spoken” (Proverbs 25:11) truly can have a real impact on the soul of another.  Second, I was saddened that no one else had done a better job than I.  Here was a woman with many Christian friends, yet over the years she had no memory of any words that had impacted her heart similarly.  Do we understand how much power we can have to speak into one another’s lives through the Spirit?  How often do we take the time to do it?  We have many stories of Jesus speaking into someone’s life, and their lives being transformed as a result. 

Can we not do the same? Purpose to say something meaningful to someone’s heart today, even if it is just a few words.  It doesn’t have to be profound or life-changing: it just has to be real.  For more thoughts on how to speak to another’s soul check out the book Soul Talk by Larry Crabb; I have read and re-read this book and it is chock-full of many wise and insightful truths about how God can use us to minister to each other.  

Everyone you meet today is thirsty.  As I remarked to a patient this morning, “Last time I checked, I didn’t know anyone living a picture perfect life.”  Give someone a cup of cold water today.

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