We had just gotten back from our weekend trek and showered. I plopped on the bed in the air conditioning.
It was very refreshing.
Then I hear, “Kelli! Kelli! Water!” through the window.
This is not uncommon. Most times we are home, and probably even when we are not, there are always little shouts of “Kelli! Stephen!” at our windows. And water is a very popular request.
I can’t blame them. Today was hot, and I enjoyed a cold glass of water, too.
Unfortunately, water is a very difficult item to set boundaries for. (Hmm? See the previous post and see how “white” I am in saying just that.)
When a child is outside asking for dolls or cars or coloring, it is easier to set limits. They don’t need these things. They will find other means of entertainment.
But water is a necessity. And while they do have it, it is not necessarily clean water and it is not refreshingly cold.
I wanted to simply sit, rest, and enjoy the cool air, so I asked Stephen, “Do you think it’s okay if I wait and give them water later?”
It was a cop out.
I don’t even know what he replied, because I knew right away that I was being lazy. I rolled off the bed and shuffled to the kitchen for water.
I opened the door to see two little girls I don’t see very often. The older girl is about five, and she cares for her little sister who is about fifteen months.
They drank thirstily.
Just a couple hours later, I was leaving the house to run to the market. I opened the door to find the same two girls, now half-naked, sleeping on our porch.
And a little while after that, I noticed the leftover sticky rice and pork we had picked up on our bike ride earlier in the day. I brought it outside and offered it to them, to which the little girl gave a quick thank you and opened it. She sweetly enjoyed it and shared with her little sister.
They had some more water, too, because sticky rice & pork makes you thirsty.
Somehow, those two little girls were Christ to me yesterday. I knew it right when I obligingly opened the door to share water.
Though I might be mistaken, they seemed sent by the Holy Spirit. A reminder that I should love well because Christ is surrounding me.
I have continually come back to Matthew 25:34-40, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”
Not only should I be willing to love well and leave my own momentary air conditioned comfort behind, but I need to seek to make the most of each situation. Different children will come, and they each need a glass of water handed to them with a smile. They each need a hug, or a chance to play with magnets and dolls. Or they each need someone to put a bandaid on their knee.
Sometimes even when the wound has been scabbed over for days.
I’ve had a hard time recently.
There have been some stressors in our work, whether it be unknowns or frustrations. Many times we just feel disconnected and we ache to feel like we are part of a team.
I’ve had a hard time being so far from family. My sister is having her third child in the next week or two, and this is the third child I’ve been in Thailand for their birth. We just met Stephen’s newest little nephew last week on Skype, and got to talk to his now two-year-old brother who wanted us to catch the ball he kept throwing at the screen.
There are little things, as well. Stephen’s parents just put his childhood home on the market, and his grandmother, after the death of his grandfather in February, just moved out of the house he has always known his grandparents to live in. Some of these small things–just buildings really–provide more security than you realize. It seems to be a reminder that we will be coming back to a different place and different people than we left.
I find myself expecting that if we are going to miss out on so much and leave things and people and familiarity behind, that our work should be worth it.
And sometimes–maybe even most times–I question if it is.
Or I expect that the blessings will outweigh the mounting sorrows, and I question if they will.
But these are simply my expectations, my hopes, and my standards. My definitions of what work is worth it and what blessings look like. My perspectives of who is worthy and what I’m offering and what the eternal outcomes are.
So really, it comes down to a very confused heart.
And that heart really just needed these two kids to show up at my door yesterday, to be Christ to me. And maybe–what if they were Christ to me and I could be Christ to them? What if the Holy Spirit showed up simply for an open door and little glass of water to change both of our days?