Thursday, February 14, 2013
When Senator Marco Rubio lunged for his water bottle the other night, he might as well have quoted that well-known American who said, "That's all folks!" Preachers know when it's over and at that moment it was over. However, like a lot of preachers who know when it's over, the Senator kept on going. And as expected at that point, no one is talking about what he said. Instead, everyone is talking about that awkward, but obviously much needed drink of water. Someone should have put his water closer and we might be talking about his words instead of his thirst.
I know. As the preacher at Richmond Hill UMC, I had someone who always kept the water close. Few were the Sundays over my seven years there that a pitcher of ice water and several glasses was not on the top shelf under the pulpit. If my mouth got dry or my throat got scratchy, there was water conveniently close. I did not need it every Sunday while preaching, but when I did, it was indeed a blessing. It was always there because it was a ministry of care by a layman named John. He took care of his preacher by praying for him from the hallway and by providing water for him just in case it was needed. He never got discouraged if the water was not needed on a particular Sunday. He simply provided it again the next week and the next and for seven years.
When I watched the Senator reaching for water, I remembered the many times I reached for water from under the pulpit. And I remembered John and the gift of his ministry. Most folks would never think about meeting such an ordinary mundane need. Maybe it is because it creates no spotlights. When pew sitters saw their preacher reaching for water, they probably just figured the preacher put it there knowing it would be needed. Most never knew its presence was an act of ministry prompted by the Holy Spirit.