Sunday, August 22, 2010
This past weekend, a man drove down to a trail in town that is popular with bikers, joggers and dog walkers. He set up a table at a juncture—a spot where many start, end or turn around. On the table sat a pitcher of lemonade, some bottled water and a sign that read “FREE—cold drinks”.
Some people asked what cause he represented, or what he was selling (‘there’s always an agenda’). Others walked by the table, intent on never looking over—because eye contact was dangerous.
But most people smiled and thanked this man. In fact, many were overwhelmed by what was truly the most simplest acts of kindness. Others stopped to chat… their day suddenly changed for the better. One jogger remarked how cold the world had been feeling to him. Another woman, who returned from a six mile run, said ‘I was so hoping you would still be here when I got back’.
After two hours, the man packed up his table, the cooler and his sign and took inventory. He had served a total of five drinks: two lemonades and three bottles of water.
And yet he came away knowing that many more drank that day… for what he came to learn was that people are not thirsty for water or lemonade… they thirst for kindness. They thirst for love.
How indifferent have we become to our brothers and sisters? How often do we go through days with blinders on, focused only on the next destination? How cold has the world become, that such a simple gesture—a glass of water—can mean so much? How have we allowed so many people in our community get so thirsty?