Do you remember the Marty Robbins song, “Cool, Clear Water”? The first verse reads: “All day I've faced a barren waste, without the taste of water, cool water. Old Dan and I with throats burned dry, and souls that cry for water. Cool, clear, water.”
At Matthew 10:42, Jesus says, “… whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones (new or vulnerable believers) in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”
Our Nation is thirsty for justice. Our parched souls are tired of turmoil and division. We are surrounded by fear and doubt. We are living in a time when brother turns against brother, sister against mother, parents against children, children against parents, and people everywhere have turned against each other (See Matthew 10:21-22). Our souls are parched!
When we are physically thirsty, we can feel weak and unfocused. If we go long enough without water, we will die. When we are extremely thirsty we can take a drink of water and it seems we can feel that water rushing through our bodies. Our souls are parched.
Humans have marginalized, divided, and demonized each other since the beginning of recorded history. Some groups have mistreated every other group that doesn’t like look like them, believe like them, or hold the same ideals they do. These injustices have left a permanent mark on the psyche of every American.
These days we are experiencing a barren waste in the human soul. We are seeing every dispute or disagreement boil-down to a zero-sum outcome; there can only be one winner. Our throats are burned dry by hatred, discord, divisiveness, exclusion, marginalization, racism, and innumerable other evils humans regularly inflict on each other.
When we offer peace we are offering a cool drink of water to ease someone’s discomfort. When we offer love, we are giving a cool drink of water to a beloved creation of God. When we decide to hear, I mean really hear, the voices of the oppressed, marginalized, shunned, mistreated millions in our world today, we are offering a soothing drink of cool water to a world dying of thirst.
Our world should be thirsting for the Kingdom of God. After explaining to his disciples why worrying is useless, Jesus goes on to say:” Seek first the Kingdom of God, and [everything you need] will be provided to you.” (See Matt. 6:25-34)
I believe one way to seek the Kingdom of God is to be a part of positive change. It means learning to listen to the voices of others in a meaningful way. We can learn to see others as beloved children of God, all deserving of fair and equal treatment. We can learn to peacefully and cooperatively discuss how positive change will be made.
We can begin to practice offering a cup, not just a sip, of cool, clear water to a parched soul. Thanks be to God.
Blessings and Peace to You All,
Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at email@example.com. St. Andrew's worship service is at 10 a.m., every Sunday, and broadcast on KWXC 88.9 FM at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.