Tangible Compassion

images (19)Matthew 10:42 “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

Rod Maynard attended the church my grandpa pastored for as long as I can remember. Although he rarely missed a meeting, he had never confessed Christ as his Savior. It wasn’t that he didn’t know his condition; he was fully aware there was something he refused to release. Years before, his youngest son had been killed in a street fight. Rod could not let go of the revenge he harbored for his son’s assailant. But he continued to be a regular at Rehoboth Mission.

As Grandpa and Grandma aged, they began to have trouble getting around. Rod and his wife, Bert, loved my grandparents. They started picking them up for every church service. They took them to the grocery store and out to dinner. There was nothing Grandpa and Grandma had need of that Rod wasn’t there to meet. Rod embodied the passage in Matthew that describes the person who “gives a cup of cold water to one of Christ’s disciples.” And at long last, Rod received his reward. I remember it, because it’s noted in the margin of my Bible next to Matthew 10:42…Rod Maynard, winter ’88. That’s when Rod at long last accepted Christ as Savior.

Although this passage may well be referring to rewards in heaven, I believe the Lord also enjoys granting earthly blessings to those who give to his children. Remember the Shunammite woman who prepared the room for Elijah; her barrenness was replaced with a son…due to her kindness (2 Kings 4:7-18). Cornelius’ gifts to the poor had “come up as a memorial offering before God” and as a result he became the first Gentile to hear the good news (Acts 10:4).

There are many people over the years who have given me “cups of cold water.” Small acts of kindness, especially in hard times, have quenched my soul’s thirst for concrete evidence of God’s love. I pray for their reward. I pray, too, that the Spirit would give me opportunities to refresh other parched and weary pilgrims. How about you?

May you and I be vessels of tangible compassion in this very needy world….

 

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