Friday, May 10, 2013

Street person...

As we pulled up to a busy intersection, about to enter a freeway in Dallas recently, there was one of those guys...

He was on crutches, very haggard looking, with one of his pant legs empty and pinned up behind him. Somewhere along the way, this man had lost his leg. He carried a small handmade cardboard sign, I couldn't even see the words.

We don't always, or even often, stop and give money, but this time we both felt it. My hubby quickly reached into his wallet for some bills and handed them to the man as the light turned green. He thanked us quietly as my husband said "God bless you buddy".

I was in tears as we pulled through the light. I told Joe 'I don't even care what he does with the money, he needed a little encouragement.' I do care, but you know what I mean. This guy had real problems and his needs were more obvious than many.

The city where I live has a 'token' street person. He's been here for several years, shows up at one parking lot or another. I think the citizens of this city have taken good care of him, he usually walks along with a Starbucks cup in his hand, or a sack of McDonald's.  Someone told me he turned down an offer of a jacket since it was not 'the right color'.

I'm sometimes torn by what the best and right thing is to do. I firmly believe that we are to work for our money, the Bible teaches that. But these guys... they all have a story, and who knows what has brought them to this place. I suspect many times it's drugs, alcohol, etc., maybe even most of the time.

Even so... sometimes my heart is caught, not only in guilt that I passed another one by, but by the very person that stands there...

Jesus was both compassionate and realistic. I don't always know exactly how to do that with these needy ones. Somehow I picture Him taking them by the hand, loving them, and leading them to food, shelter... and the responsibility of work.

So I'll throw this one out there to you... how do you handle it? Do you always stop, never stop, or do you occasionally feel a strong tug for that one person?


Farm Girl said...

It is always a total struggle for me. I pray always to have what the Lord would have me do. It isn't always the same either.
One of the things that I try to remember, I am to be obedient to the Lord what He telling me. It doesn't matter what that person does with what I give them. I just try to lean on the Holy Spirit for guidance.
Still it is hard for me.

Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
Sometimes I know I have to stop. I cannot just pass.
What do we know of why these persons are on the street. Many have a history of abuse, many are veteran soldiers.
God knows, and when he urges us to give, that's the right thing to do.
What did Jesus say?
Matth: 25:45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

I know there are lots of opportunities for me to do something for Jesus. I also know I often fail.
Imagine, not doing things for Jesus, who has given me everything I have and am.
Paul urged us, do not judge.
People, myself included are so soon to pass judges.
Even a beggar has his pride and his needs.
Maybe a jacket wasn't his need. maybe loving and kindness was?
Sometimes it's really tricky being a Christian.
I thank God for making your husband "follow order" and stop, even if he didn't know what was written on the sign.

manthano said...

Like yourself. I don't know what to do.
I guess we just need the Lord's leading
with each case.

Debbie said...

I too have done both. Given as the Lord lead, or just driven on by. It bothers me which ever way I go with it. Years ago my hubby and I got involved for a little while with an organization that feed the homeless (outside in a park) soup and bread on Friday nights. It was usually the same people that came. And what I discovered at that time after talking and interacting with these homeless people, was that the majority of them were mentally ill. Not mentally ill enough they needed to be locked up, but mentally ill enough that they could never really care for themselves. Our society really has no place for people like that who have no family to help care for them. It was pathetic and sad. It haunts me to this day and has changed the way I look at many of them. Now of course some of them are drug addicts and alcoholics of course, but again, how many of those have lead lives of horror BEFORE they turned that way. All in all a very overwhelming and heart wrenching problem. But I believe the Lord will touch your spirit with His when you should give.

Happy Mother's Day to you Sonja! Hope you have a wonderful day!

Debbie said...

I am in the "occasionally feel the tug" department. In truth, I see it very little in this little world in which I live. It's only when I venture into the city that I'm truly confronted with the anonymous homeless.

I do feel the conflict, though. Even in a small town, we are met with needs (real or pretended) that I require me to follow the lead of Jesus. My grandfather was known for being the master of it, I'm told. He built his church one redeemed and reformed "bum" at a time back in the day.

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

My husband always says, it's not for us to worry about what they do with what we give them, it's just for us to give when there is a need. And, that's what we generally do. Now, we do use good judgement as much as possible. There is just seemingly so much need and I do know that the Lord expects us to use good judgement and if we do, He will bless us.

Happy Mother's Day Sonja!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Our city is filled with people asking for money. I rarely stop, but every now and again, I feel a special tug to do so. When prompted, I give, but I've learned to be cautious.