On every street corner, under every viaduct and in places around the city, the homeless stand, sit or gather with sign in hand asking for money, food, a job or something. At times it’s overwhelming to see so much need. It used to be the church was responsible to take care of the poor, but some churches can barely take care of their own parishioners.
I don’t like to be duped but at the same time, how can I turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to the what I see and hear around me? I struggle sometimes with the knowing. I work hard for my money so I’m careful where I invest it. I could just give through a local charity or church and trust that they do the right thing with it and I do, but what about me? What about those I come into contact with?
This morning as I thought about this I realized that it’s not up to me to judge the motives or whether they’re really homeless, hungry or destitute. It doesn’t matter because when I do it as unto Jesus, he takes care of all the rest. I’ve watched as widows made sandwiches at lunch time and give them to drunks and drug addicts and wondered why? Because they are someones son, someones daughter that’s lost their way. They still need to eat and they still need to be loved. Is that so hard to do?
Then I read this: For when you saw me hungry, you fed me. When you found me thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I had no place to stay, you invited me in, and when I was poorly clothed, you covered me. When I was sick, you tenderly cared for me, and when I was in prison you visited me.’
“Then the godly will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and give you food and something to drink? When did we see you with no place to stay and invite you in? When did we see you poorly clothed and cover you? When did we see you sick and tenderly care for you, or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will answer them, ‘Don’t you know? When you cared for one of the least important of these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you demonstrated love for me.’ Matthew 25:35-40
My youngest daughter Shannon, told me a story of a young lady who was walking the neighborhood where she lived. It had just snowed a few inches and she was preparing to clear the driveway when this woman walked up to her and asked, “Can I shovel your drive for you?” She quickly said yes but that she only had $10 to give her. The young lady eagerly took the shovel and cleared the drive. As Shannon went in to get the $10 from her wallet, she discovered it was a $20 and brought it out to her. I seriously believe that when she decided to be generous, God was generous to her and changed the $10 to a $20.
I need to stop being skeptical and choose to give. I need to stop analyzing and just follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. To do it all in the name of Jesus is no greater way. To be friendly to those in need, a listener, a lover, to remember they are Gods child whether they realize it yet or not. He loves them and so should we.
Father, thank you for the reminder. I will not disappoint you again. Send someone my way so that I can be Your hands extended, Your arms to hold, Your ears to listen and Your mouth to encourage. It’s all in Your name and for Your glory, Amen.