40 "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."
The Importance of the Cup of Cold Water
by Lori A. Spies, Ph.D., RN, NP-C
Being a part of Baylor University during the COVID pandemic has brought unexpected challenges and required difficult decisions. The pandemic has also provided faculty and leaders an opportunity to appreciate how our shared faith permeates and informs all of our work. We welcome students to our campus, classrooms, missions, online courses and sometimes our homes. Corporately, we have strategies and structures to meet their physical, spiritual and academic needs. Teaching during the time of COVID has allowed me to consider the ways being a follower of Jesus Christ informs my individual interactions with students. Perhaps prior to COVID I overlooked the importance of the cup of cold water a small gift easily given but gratefully received.
The pandemic has been a strange time for all, but especially at the nursing school where we prepare our students to step into the frontlines of caring for the desperately ill. All of my graduate students are registered nurses who are continuing their education to expand their career ministering to the sick and wounded. As the pandemic emerged, my students would attend our virtual classes exhausted and traumatized from their jobs caring for an overwhelming number of COVID patients. They struggled and were frustrated because they did not know how best to keep their families healthy. Embracing my faith as a faculty led me to see that through welcoming my students, I welcome prophets, disciples and the upright. Listening carefully and intentionally interacting with students helped me to know what form that academic cup of cold water would take. My faith was strengthened by finding the path that provided students welcome, respite and nourishment during the most challenging of times.
Leading and educating students in tumultuous times requires new approaches, tools, techniques. But we, as people of faith, have the stalwart companionship of a Sovereign God that guides us as we identify for each student that small thing, that cup of cold water that will help them on their journey.
Learn More About Our Guest Writer
Lori A. Spies, Ph.D., RN, NP-C
Lori Spies, Ph.D., RN, NP-C, is a tenured associate professor at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing and coordinates global endeavors for students and faculty as the Missions Coordinator. Dr. Spies specializes in global health and building capacity in health care. In response to COVID, she is collaborating to globally explore the experiences of Nurse Practitioners as front-line care providers during the pandemic.