I had a meaningful experience earlier this week. Can I share it with you?
It had been a crazy week. With deadlines looming, a whirlwind trip to celebrate my mom’s birthday, a cookbook to finish and college expenses to pay… I was tired. And, to be honest, a bit overwhelmed.
I needed a treat that morning… like a tall, non-fat latte and a petite vanilla scone kind of treat.
It wasn’t in the calorie budget, that petite vanilla scone, but I couldn’t find enough discipline to care that morning. All I wanted was that little taste of comforting sweetened vanilla and a sip of a warm, soothing latte I knew would caffeinate and jump start my morning.
As I often do, and did that day, I multi-task morning drive times with prayer, reflection, calendar catch up and radio news headlines. I know… not exactly an effective recipe for a fruitful day.
But on that morning, amidst of multitude of distractions, I asked God for a little extra help, a momentary pause, a lifting of the load… a way through the temporary valley.
We all have moments in life where our journey meanders through wildernesses, valleys, and sometimes dried up riverbeds.
In those moments, the pressures of life can seem heavier than perhaps circumstances warrant. Likely things aren’t as bad as they seem. Yet weariness of body and spirit can elevate even self-imposed demands and leave life depleted.
I’m getting to the cup of water.
The drive-through Starbucks line. I was three cars back.
Which was a good thing because after discovering my Starbuck’s card had $0 dollars, I was able to find a few $1 bills in different pockets of my wallet.
As I was scrambling, now 1 car back, I heard a great deal of laughing and conversation between the car in front of me and the woman at the window.
It was my turn. And thankfully, I had in hand my $1 bills.
With a brilliant smile, the woman at the window informed me that the child in the preceding car asked her mother to pay for my drink and scone.
I just stared at the smiling woman. Quickly glancing in the rear window, knowing I needed to pay it forward, and truthfully, hoping they didn’t have an order that exceeded my $1 bills.
There was no one behind me.
My shoulders sank with weight.
There was nothing I could do to reciprocate. The child and her mother were gone. There wasn’t anyone behind me to pay it forward.
Guilt sat uncomfortably as I realized… it was simply a blessing.
One I did nothing to deserve.
A cup of water, from a thoughtful 8-year-old child.
Who had changed the course of an unknown woman’s day.
Because I knew that God had heard my prayer… and somewhere, a child had listened.
Hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and firestorms are shaking our world.
People’s lives are unraveling. They are losing all they have.
My slow start that Monday morning was nothing, absolutely nothing in comparison. It was a simple blip, a tired reaction to a hectic week.
A week that happens to everyone.
And yet God heard my prayer. And answered with a cup of water, or latte, to remind me that He was present.
Through the actions of a child.
Do you know someone who needs a cup of water?
Or… a smile, a thoughtful word, a helping hand?
Listen intently, and act.
Be it a cup of water… or something much greater, as the need and your abilities dictate.
In scripture, a cup of cold water is a call to hospitality, a call to provide for people we don’t know… strangers. With the promise that by doing so, you will reap a reward in heaven.
This week, make someone’s day. Bless them by giving that which you can give.
And your life will be full to overflowing.
Hug your loved ones’ extra tight and–
Have a beautiful day!
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