Elijah, like Jesus in another encounter with a woman this time one who was gathering sticks, asks for a cup of water. Water is essential to health. We are advised to drink plenty of it to maintain ourselves in our well being. It is said that our bodies are composed of anywhere from 55-60% water. An old Arab saying answers the question of God's race by saying that the color of God is the color of water!
We are created in the image of God. Perhaps the three states of water teach us something about God and ourselves. Water is fluid, like God. It is all in all, it is the Alpha and the Omega of life itself. God is the Creator of life, its Author. Water can be solid, like ice. God can be flesh and blood as God becomes in the person of Jesus. God can touch us, heal us and teach us. God can be our Redeemer even as God suffers dies and rises again on the Cross for my sins. Water can be a gas like steam. In the way that steam can play with wisps of vapors over the slightest currents of the air, so too the Spirit can come from we not not where and continue on in amazing and unpredictable ways. Thus God becomes our Sanctifier, giving us gifts for ministry to make the ordinary holy. If that is the case, then indeed, give me a cup of water too, if you please!
The healing touch is a sensitive but essential component part of Christian healing. We practice the laying-on-of-hands in our church with the anointing of oil of unction to intercede on behalf of the faithful for healing. The Gospels refer to touching at least 30 times. That physical touch between Jesus and the people often becomes the vehicle that becomes the occasion for healing. Be careful how you touch someone! Healing is one thing...abuse is something so utterly different.
How often does a child of God need something as simple and as innocent as a hug, the wiping away of a tear, or a kindly pat on the shoulder to give reassurance in time of need.
Remember that to reclaim our place as "a safe church" will not come easily anymore. We must earn the trust of our people...but it is worth doing so, because at the center of that trust is the power of Christ to heal.
"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advise, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand"
Henri Nouwen (Dutch Christian writer: 1932-1996)