“And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” ~ Matthew 10: 42
The other night I had a unique dream involving two scenes in which I was ministering to the homeless. I have had many dreams over the years but am pretty certain I have never had a dream like this.
In the first scene, homeless people of all ages filled an empty church sanctuary and myself and another pastor began chatting and moving among those seated throughout the sanctuary. In the next scene, I was seated beside a homeless man resting on a large branch. As I sat next to him, I realized he was thirsty, so taking my nearly empty water bottle, I poured him a full cup. He eagerly drank from his mug and then, realizing I had emptied my water bottle, gently put his mug up to my mouth to drink the final mouthful.
As I awoke, I found myself consumed with compassion for the homeless. I must confess that I often struggle when driving down some streets where I find the homeless panhandling for some gift of change. I struggle with many questions. What if I am contributing to an addiction? Will they spend it on food or something worthwhile?
There are occasions when I do give them some change in their empty paper cups. Other times, I look the other way, feeling uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone. I find myself wondering what the Lord would have me do.
A friend suggested that the dream may be simply to encourage me to respond when seeing a need even if it may cost me something. If so, he felt the Lord would meet any further need I may have as I am obedient to His promptings to give and bless someone.
I am reminded of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 10 about the blessing received when giving a cup of cold water to others in His name. Jesus instructed the young, rich ruler to give to the poor and lay up treasure in heaven. Paul also encouraged the early church to do likewise.
Am I prepared to give a cup of cold water? Am I prepared to give something to someone in need if it costs me something? Is my heart open to the Lord’s promptings?
Reports indicate that many are concerned the homeless have been forgotten during the pandemic and are at greater risk of coming down with COVID-19 and that there is great risk for many more homeless to arise as this pandemic continues. They are invisible to many.
One thing my wife and I have learned from our financial discipleship journey is the importance of giving a portion of our giving to the poor. We do so, looking for those who are wise stewards when working with these precious people.
Have you considered giving a cup of cold water in His name?