By Barbara Mizell, Religion Editor
The Picayune Item
Have you ever been so hot and tired and covered with sweat until you wanted to leap headfirst into a swimming pool of ice water? I think most of us have felt this way in the last few weeks. With heat indexes into the triple digits even those of us like me who are not prone to sweating have been sweating bullets in the Mississippi heat.
And as I am sure you’ve heard it said many times ‘round these parts — it’s not the heat that’ll get you, it’s the humidity! Levels have been hovering around the 80-90% mark making the dog days of summer feel more like the wet rag days of summer. On days like we’ve been having lately you just want to wring yourself out and find a cool place to lie down and puddle.
Last Saturday, I was headed to Wal-Mart with my husband, not my favorite thing to do on my day off. We were trying to ignore the heat, but that’s kinda hard to do when even your automobile is overheating. We headed through downtown Picayune to eyeball all the beautiful cars — that we need, but cannot afford — when we passed a group of men handing out bottles of water near the Shay Park area. When I first caught a glimpse of them, I thought it was a fundraiser of some kind and starting digging for change. I was frantically digging in my purse and my husband was searching his pockets, but we were coin bare. Embarrassed, I rolled down the window to tell the young man I would catch him on the way back through, when he handed me an ice-cold bottle of water and said, “I just wanted you to know that God loves you!”
Talk about a cool drink of water. Here is was 110 degrees in the shade, and these brave men when right out in the midst of it giving out water. In times when people just don’t want to be bothered, someone takes the time to put a little “sweat equity” in spreading God’s love to a hot, tired, thirsty world. What a powerful message.
As the good book says, Jesus Christ is the “living water.” And those who drink from it shall never thirst. These men were giving water in honor of Christ. To weary travelers like my husband and myself, braving the heat in a car with no air or power steering, it was more than just a bottle of water — it was like a breath of heaven. It reminded us that there are still people who care. People who will put themselves in discomfort to bring relief to others who are hurting.
I know what you are thinking, “It’s just a bottle of water.” It really wasn’t the water itself that touched my heart, sure was a wonderful blessing on a hot day, but the selfless act of standing in the hot sun handing out ice-cold water to strangers you’ve never met. Well, as they say — that’s priceless. Think of what would happen to this world if we all acted accordingly.
I don’t know their names, or what church or organization these men were from, but I just want to thank them from the bottom of my heart, for braving the heat to spread God’s love with a cool drink of water on a hot summer’s day.
God Bless you and thank you for caring.