The speaker had gotten there early allowing some time to mill about the seniors in their little chapel. Orderlies wheeled in yet more people hoping for a change of routine and something thought-provoking. A CD player rehearsed some of the old standby hymns. Several residents hummed along. The Chaplain was strolling from face to face and welcoming and naming names.
From the far corner of the room the speaker heard a subdued, garbled voice: “Could you do me a favour?”
He strolled over to the wheelchair. Her slouched posture suggested that she was almost slipping down and out of it. In the past he had thought that this woman had slept through most of the meetings. Eyes closed. Lower lip distorted and quivering.
She did not look up, but continued: “Could you get me a drink of water, please?”
“Of course I will.” Over to the snack counter, clean glass, bendable straw, rinse , rinse, chill and return.
She took her time savouring the cool draught that he extended. He held the glass still. He watched quietly as she gulped, and felt the lump rising in his throat.
He had had a message for her after all. He wondered if any approving faces during his sermon would register in him so profound an impact.
The Gospel. Serving. Caring. Pausing for the other’s need. Hearing her out. Using things readily available to bless. Like a cup of cold water. Given in the environment of Christ.