“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” (Matthew 10:42).
My friend Barbara was waxing nostalgic about the Coke commercials through the years. “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” was the best song at the time (find it on youtube). And the “Mean Joe Greene” commercial was the absolute best TV ad.
In that commercial, a kid comes up to this an all-pro Pittsburgh Steeler named “Mean Joe Greene” for his toughness and also because Joe Greene is his name and the prefix “Mean” gives it a certain something–and hands him a Coke. Greene has just played his heart out on the field and is clearly exhausted. He swigs down the soft drink. Then, as they are departing, the giant athlete calls out, “Hey kid.” The boy turns around and Greene pitches him the jersey in which he has just played the game. Ask any fan. It was a great swap and a magic moment.
I thought about the business of giving a cup of cold water–or a Coke–to a great champion and remembered a time when I did something remotely akin to that.
It was November of 1986.