Sheltering Kelly

“If you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:42 (NLT)

Our home became my neighbour’s hideaway. When Kelly and I were kids, she would wait at my house after school until I got home. She would stay until dark. My home was small and noisy (thanks to my brother’s video games)—but it was safe. It was Kelly’s protection from her mom’s verbal abuse, rowdy friends, and alcoholism.

Kelly would stay late in the summers. June nights found us playing Flashlight Tag in my yard, even as music and shouts carried down the street from the parties outside Kelly’s house.

One rainy day, I answered the door to find Kelly soaked and coatless, crying about her mother’s latest drunken tirade. My mom, though, just held Kelly and reminded her that the brokenness of her family wasn’t her fault.

In today’s adult society of busyness and anxiety, just fulfilling our daily responsibilities can seem like all we can manage. Yet giving a “cup of cold water” doesn’t have to cause emotional burnout. Often, the people Jesus invites us to help may just need someone to go through a devotional with them or to drop by on their lunch break. Or maybe they need an invitation to come over—like Kelly did.

How did Jesus, in Luke 19, trigger Zacchaeus turn-around? Did Jesus use a multi-step campaign, complete with spreadsheets and a three-pronged action plan? No. That simple, initial conversation shows Zacchaeus that he can go beyond the isolation of a tax collector. The lost, Jesus teaches him, can find the way to grace.

Now, Kelly continues the ministry of sheltering others. She has two foster children, siblings removed from their home. The small things—making cookies together and bedtime snuggles—let her demonstrate the kind of love God has given us. How will you start small today?

Lord, thank you for giving us the chance to serve you through helping others. Help us to see needs and respond to your direction.

By Jacie Pridgeon
Used by Permission

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