Water. We taste it. We waste it, just like food. Look inside your kitchen trash can. I drink about 17 ounces of bottled water before I get on a treadmill, and another 17 afterwards. As I drove to Planet Fitness one afternoon, I stopped at an intersection. I noticed a homeless man, standing to my left. I looked down at my two plastic bottles of cold water. One was almost empty. One hadn’t been opened. While I was waiting for the light to turn green, I rolled my window down, and held out a new bottle of cold water with my left hand. That homeless man walked over to my car and took it. He said, “God bless you.” This has happened many times.
People are thirsty and hungry all over this big ‘ol world, not just where you live. It has been interesting to hear the comments I have received, after people learn that my family supported a Bolivian girl for 13 years, through Compassion International. www.compassion.com
Many times, they’ve said: “So you can help people over there, but not over here?!” Their question is then followed by an awkward silence, when I nicely respond by asking them, “Who do you help, over here in the United States?”
Poverty “over here” is totally different than “over there” in a third-world country. Yes, we have way too much over here. I learned that when I traveled to Guatemala. The first group I led there was taken to what is referred to as “The Dump”. The Guatemala City garbage dump is the biggest landfill in Central America. I witnessed scavengers picking through trash and stale food, just to survive.
My close friend, Nancy Silvey, knows all about the real physical and spiritual needs of the homeless “over here” in the U.S. She gives up three days a week to volunteer by serving hot meals to the down-and-out, at “Way of the Cross” in Gadsden, Alabama. She has also built relationships with those same folks, who also have a hunger in their souls. www.wayofthecrosssoupkitchen.org
If I can pour water into metal bowls, two or three times a day, for our Labrador Retrievers, Bentley and Sadie, then I can provide water for “humans” who lack h20. The organization, Life Outreach International, has provided over 6,000 water wells for third-world countries. Check out their website, www.lifetoday.org They need your support.
It’s one thing to meet a person’s physical needs. What about their spiritual needs? Jesus answered that question specifically. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35, NLT)
How can we invite folks to taste the living water that Jesus offers, to quench their spiritual thirst, until we provide water to quench their physical thirst? How can we encourage people to believe in Jesus, the bread of life, to fill their spiritual hunger, if they are physically hungry?
Dogs and bird bath pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”