Ray and I have been blessed with many wise teachers. One of them is our friend Dennis. He once told us a story about a woman who had grown up in terrible circumstances. Dennis asked her how she came to believe in God. She told him that though her home life was very bad, she had a neighbor lady who was nice to her, and that as a little girl she had decided that, since this woman was nice, there must be a God. Dennis told us that he is a strong believer in the long-term effect of doing little kindnesses to others, trusting that God will bless our efforts when we give “a cup of cold water.”
And whoever in the name of a disciple
gives to one of these little ones
even a cup of cold water to drink,
truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
Matthew 10:42, NASB
This water fountain is on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state. It is inscribed with these words: “IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DEAR FRIEND EVELYN HOWARD. THOSE WHO CAN DO. SHE DID. 1906-1982.” Who was Evelyn Howard? Was she famous? Did she do some great deed? I have no idea, but I do know some important things about her. Evelyn Howard had friends, she was a woman of action, and her friends wanted to remember her with a place where people could get cold water.
God may not call any one of us to do some great thing today, but let’s keep our faucets ready for those moments throughout the day when we can give a cup of cold water to our children, to our husbands, to the lady who checks out our groceries, and to anyone else God brings by with cup in hand.