And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” Mt 10:42 NKJV
Last year about this time I was finally realizing that my wife would not be home for Valentine’s Day. Nancy had left just before Christmas to fly 3,000 miles to California to take care of a sister who lived alone and had been hospitalized after a terrible fall. Diane’s diagnosis was not good, and her rare lung disease (ILD) was rapidly taking away her strength. Though I missed Nancy, I was also so proud of my wife who was such a champion through all the months of missing Christmas with her grandchildren, losing sleep and holding up under the pressures of becoming a caregiver. When I just happened to stop at the Walgreens to pick up a prescription, I noticed the fancy heart shaped boxes of chocolate candy and decided to send one along with a card for Nancy. As I dropped the candy into my cart I paused and decided that just for fun I would pick up a second smaller box for Diane and I picked out a card for her as well.
After dropping the Valentine’s stuff in the mail that afternoon, I pretty much forgot all about it, till a few days later. The phone rang and my wife’s happy voice on the other end reminded me how much she loved chocolates and that my little gift was just what she needed that day. As we spoke, I could hear Diane in the background saying something I couldn’t make out, then Nancy paused and said, “Just a minute Diane has something she wants to tell you.”
As I listened to the sound of the phone being passed, wondering what could be so important, Diane’s voice with the happiest tone I had ever heard came on the line. “Peter, thank you so much for sending me the card and the chocolates! Do you know that you are the first person in my life who ever sent me a box of candy for Valentine’s Day?”
I tell this story, not because i want anyone to think I did some tremendous act of kindness, but to encourage you to know the value of the smallest kindness you can show another person. It is rarely the cost of the gift you are giving, but about the demonstration of love that tells them, you matter, you have value and I remember you. On Valentine’s Day we do special things for our spouse or for someone we love. This year, why not remember that it is also an opportunity to show God’s love to someone who is alone. That small kindness tells them that God remembers and values them. It might be a small box of chocolates, a handful of flowers or even just a cup of cold water but is precious to Jesus and something that He promises will never lose its reward!