When we read the words spoken by Jesus in John 19:28, “…he said, ‘I am thirsty.” What does this mean to us? To the soldiers at the base of His cross, they felt He was physically thirsty so they offered a sponge soaked with sour wine.
To Mother Teresa, it was an insight into God’s amazing heart and how He desired, longed for, “thirsted” to love and to be loved. He thirsted for the love of all He created, especially those most in need. Mother Teresa received these words as her life’s calling and her willingness to sacrifice and strive to satiate His thirst, regardless of the cost to herself.
WOWZA, how does one do that right here, right now, in 2018, a world full of so much noise, so many distractions, so little time? How do we go about loving in the 21st century?
We’ve all heard or read to take another look at where we are, this includes our community, our family, job, and our relationships, even that bad haircut we’ve been trying to grow out. This is where we are. This is our lane. Our struggle begins here. Don’t de-value your lane, this is your personal mission field. Be faithful with what we’ve been entrusted, right?
But what about that other group of people? You know, that family we just don’t engage, that one guy that looks a bit scary or the child that seems a bit off? How about that young couple that might be struggling, or the neighbor that doesn’t seem quite so “neighborly”, let’s remember the face of that desperate refugee child in our Facebook feed. What about that homeless person that keeps invading our thoughts or how about our friend who used to be in our inner circle and is now self-destructing because of addiction?
These are the “untouchables”, the “uninvited”, the “interruptions” that God has put in our paths. They too are treasured, valued by our Father;
“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30); “…you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).
This is our Heavenly Father calling to us, “thirsting” for us to not throw our hands up in despair, but to hold them up in surrender, kneel down and ask Him to show us our part in reaching them and then having the courage to take that step to love them as He first loved us.
Taking that step toward loving that person as Jesus has asked; “…then feed my lambs”. (John 21) and let us never forget; “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me”. (Matthew 25:40)
We are not big enough to fix what’s wrong in our society, but we can extend an open hand, we can offer a smile and a kind verbal exchange. We can pray for them. We may not know their name, but Jesus does. We can’t put a bandage on every child’s wounds, but we can fall to our knees and cry out to God to heal their hearts. We can’t go to every nation, but we can support ministries brave enough to offer education, salvation and hope in Jesus’ Name. We can’t do it alone but together with Love we can reach across barriers and cultures to join hands to make a difference. He first loved us!
Let us not forget the poor, to love them, for they too have been called for greater things. Ask yourself, why is Jesus still thirsting? Is it because I am not what I should be and for this, Jesus is still thirsting? Let us search for opportunities to quench the thirst of Jesus, to proclaim the Love of Christ, and act on it.