And whoever gives just a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple—I assure you: He will never lose his reward!” Matthew 10:42 (HCSB)
Nine days before our wedding, Mark suffered his second heart attack. I cancelled all of our California wedding plans and flew out to Memphis, where he lived. From the moment I walked into the hospital room, he began to rally and we did get married on the day we had planned—only in Memphis. For a California girl, from the Bay Area no less, it was a bit of a culture shock to find myself smack dab in the middle of the South for seven weeks as Mark recuperated from not only the heart attack but also a bout of pneumonia.
But I enjoyed my time in Memphis and all things southern: the food, BBQ (the noun, not the verb), azaleas, the drawl where one word could have three or four syllables, the ducks at the Peabody, great jazz, and a church on every block. Everyone goes to church on Sunday and lunch reservations are often the hottest ticket in town—or else you better get there early.
Today, we finally saw a movie that I have been trying to see for several weeks, The Blind Side. I like Sandra Bullock and I knew it was a heartwarming story about a family from Memphis. Bullock played the part of a southern “mama” to a young black man that she noticed walking along the road one night. After she picked him up, it was obvious that he had no hope and little to offer, but she brought home and gave him a warm bed. I could say it was just that old southern-hospitality thing, but I would rather believe that she was willing to offer a cup of cold water to someone in need. He stayed and the family learned the meaning of love in a way they never expected and that seemed foreign to their family and friends.
That young man, Michael Oher, is a testimony to the power of God when we are willing to go the extra mile. His success was not without a lot of personal hard work, but in the process he learned the meaning of both courage and honor, along with love.
I encourage you to see the movie. Take a couple of tissues—mine were soggy at the end. And…be on the watch for someone who might be thirsty.