Jesus says, “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these littles ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” (Matthew 10:42)
Paul came outside. He raised his right hand when he saw me standing there. “Sister!” he said, “Am I interrupting a moment of prayer?”
I couldn’t always tell when Paul was making fun of me. “What the hell,” I said defensively. “Why not pray?”
“No, go right ahead,” said Paul. “I mean, look at Miss Pollen. You know she asked me to pray with her once, and she started speaking in tongues. It was incredibly beautiful.” He waved at Miss Pollen, over by the snack table, her bonnet stuck firmly to her hair with a screwdriver-sized hatpin. She was talking with Miss Lola Lewis, who was wearing a raincoat and leaning on her banged-up grocery cart.
The two old women started over to us. Miss Lewis was a regular at the pantry, a tiny lady with gnarled, arthritic hands. Every week she came to get groceries so she could go back to her room, cook on her hot plate, put the meals in rinsed-out plastic containers, and take them down to feed the beggars who lived on her street. She hugged me, and Miss Pollen dropped a cerise lipstick kiss on my chin. “How are you?” asked Paul, beaming.
“Blessed,” said Miss Pollen. “I’ve had a little flu, but I’m blessed.”
Miss Lewis smiled at us all. “Are you thirsty?” she asked her friend. “You need to drink plenty of liquids. Wait a minute.” She rummaged in her shopping cart and pulled out a bottle of cranberry-grape juice and a Dixie cup.
“Here you go,” she said. The sacrament. Ω
Reflect: When has food or drink been a significant gift to you? Did it evoke communion for you? What fruit of the spirit were present?
What is this? Lent is the 40 days, excluding Sundays, before Easter. Traditionally it is a time of reflection and pilgrimage. To help you on this journey, Sanctuary has put together 40 stories from people both within and beyond the congregation, with associated questions for reflection and prayer. A reading will be uploaded every day of Lent. This year’s theme is Fruit of the Spirit. Why? Read this. #Lent2022. Real People, Real Stories: 40 Readings for Lent © Sanctuary, 2022. From Sara Miles. Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion. New York: Ballantine, 2007: 240.
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