I am that peculiar girl who lugs in a gallon of beverage to work every morning. I’m not incredibly picky when it comes to beverage choices, but apparently I am very Southern in my desire for iced tea instead of soda or coffee. I even stretch my peculiarity a bit further by toting a big insulated glass with me throughout the day. Apparently I stay very hydrated although it’s more about the drink than the result for me.
At the same time, I am that girl who provides cash and change to panhandlers when given the opportunity. And Houston has plenty of opportunities. I’ve had many discussions with individuals regarding what my donation is funding. My argument has steadfastly been that this is between the panhandler and God. I can’t always control the end result but I can faithfully act as the hands and feet of God. However, I do realize many disagree with my efforts. I also admit to moments when the cynicism in me creeps up and I question if my actions are truly helpful to these individuals. So, I’m excited to explain how these two particular sides of my personality recently collided.
The other morning I flipped on the news as I got ready. In a very distracted state, I heard an interview with the founder of a charitable organization that focused on providing drinking water to the homeless. In my hurry, I finished my task, turned off the TV and moved on to my next activity. However, the seed had been successfully planted…providing drinking water to the homeless. What a great idea!
So at the next opportunity I purchased a six-pack of bottled water and placed it in my car. I have to admit to being excited to encounter a panhandler after this preparation. I developed a keen eye as I waited for my first opportunity to hand that precious water out. How fun this was going to be! And I was not let down. My first distribution of water was around 4 p.m. on this year’s first day of 90 degree heat. The woman was so appreciative that she asked, “If you come back around, bring me another.” Dispensing the second bottle of water was less eventful. However, I look forward to many happy provisions going forward into the hot summer months.
Once I decided to write on this topic, I researched the charity mentioned on the TV. Without much difficulty I found the website for the I Am Waters Foundation — iamwaters.com. A quick review of their webpages identifies former fashion model Elena Davis as the founder. I urge you to take a minute and explore their website. Not only do they have information regarding their mission of providing water to the homeless, they also put a face to these individuals through video interviews, pictures and quotes.
I also urge you to consider how you are the hands and feet of Christ. Our education at Regent University teaches us many things but among them is how to “change the world.” With “Christ-centeredness” as one of Regent’s values, identifying effective ways of ministering to our community is critical. According to Matthew 25:40, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” What an awesome privilege we have to love on those in need through a simple drink of water!
What other ideas do you have for loving our community in God’s name?