Once Upon a Time I Ran
The next series we will be writing about are the seven Corporal Works of Mercy. The Corporal Works of Mercy are found within the teachings of Jesus and they give us a model for how we should treat others, as if they were Christ Himself in disguise. The seven Corporal Works of Mercy include; feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, burying the dead, and giving alms to the poor. They sound like a straightforward roadmap, to get to heaven. But in reality, how do we actually live these out day to day? Lets start by saying 'yes' throughout the day!
My teaching schedule allows me to have each class for only 25 minutes per day. I cherish each minute and do my best to make every second count. Because I have limited time with my students I developed a mindset that has caused me to internally scream when a student asks me to leave to go get a drink of water. I want to say, “absolutely not, you will be leaving here in 20 minutes and we are in the middle of a song.’’
The call to 'give drink to the thirsty' reverses that mindset for me. That child can not focus on music because they are preoccupied with their need for water. I almost always let the kiddos leave to get water. Not only do I want what is best for my students physically, I also know that at certain stages in development, they are unable to focus on two things at once. So until their physical need, of getting a drink, is met they will not be able to focus on the song we are singing or the lesson I am teacheing. That small yes can seem like an inconvenience at the time, but it always pays off when a smiling and content student returns to my classroom.
When I first thought about this Corporal Work of Mercy I had the image of a cooler filled with gatorade and water in the backseat of my car. I figured I could hand out beverages on every street corner and stop dehydration in the world. This idea sounds legitimate but we can both agree that it is not realistic for everyone. Instead, I could see myself volunteering at a water station mid 5K race or pouring coffee at a church breakfast.
There are other ways to satisfy the thirsty. My fiance and I used to attend the Church of Saint Paul in Ham Lake. This past year, that parish completed a water project to help dig water wells in Kitui, Kenya. This water project allowed children to attend school instead of having to walk all day to draw water for their families from contaminated water sources. The Kitui project provided an opportunity for the parishioners to say yes to give financially, and/or prayerfully. The Church of Saint Paul was the largest partner and contributor to the Kitui water project and left a major impact on the people in Kenya. There are water projects similar to the Kitui partnership all over the place. Your donations do not have to be large but always make a difference!
Majority of us can not relate to the people in Kenya who do not have convenient running/clean water. I am a diva and I LOVE a nice warm shower. I am embarrassed to admit that my showers are on the longer side. I have learned that this Corporal Work of Mercy includes taking care of our environment and not wasting clean water. As I write this post, I am convicted of setting a timer while I shower tomorrow morning...hold me accountable! It is important to be grateful for the resources we have readily available and to not be wasteful. Not everyone lives with the same luxury!
As I mentioned, the best way to live out the Corporal Works of Mercy is to say yes. Maybe this post prompted an idea for you to ‘give drink to the thirsty’. I pray that you are able to be courageous in your actions so that when you satisfy the thirsty you are able to see the face of Jesus in the lives you touched.
Until next time~Your sister in Christ,