As I was driving south on Penn Ave. I noticed a woman walking south. My gut reaction was that she looked so tired. I wondered where she was going and it crossed my mind that I might be able to help. But obviously her needs were much greater than my resources. I don’t know how she walked fast enough or I drove slowly enough but when I got to a corner where a man sat on some church steps, she walked up also and laid her stuff down by the church; she appeared not to know the man. I thought they were probably waiting for a bus, and drove on. My spirit did not get free of the situation. I drove on about 10 blocks then took a detour to go back, not really thinking she would still be there. She was. I pulled over and lowered the window. She came over and said, “I’m not a criminal and I’m not a prostitute. I’m just getting by while I’m trying to find a job.” I told her I had come back to tell her that Jesus loved her. Then I noticed a folded up sign in her hand and asked what her sign said. She showed me “Homeless, …” I’m not sure what but she had apparently been on the corner asking for handouts. Again, she repeated that she was not a criminal and she was not a prostitute. I told her that I am generally very hard-hearted against those who hold up signs begging. And that it was extra special that Jesus sent me to her. Money-wise I only gave her peanuts compared to her need. I don’t know what lesson if any, she received. I know I received one. Granted, it made me angry when she said she was on the corner waiting for her pick up, because I know someone else was making money off her. But I am ever so glad Jesus loves her! And I gained some insight into the heart of some who are doing that – even they have a standard. I’m not a criminal and I’m not a prostitute. Makes me wonder just what standards many of us job-holders have. Are we law-abiding (except for normal, you know, jaywalking, trespassing, speeding, fudging just a little occasionally type of thing) and are we sexually pure (except for normal, you know, edgy jokes, vile movies, bikini clad, with just a bit of eye-winking occasionally type of thing)? Just asking myself, what is my standard? Hopefully it is the standard of the Bible as I strive to keep God’s standard – “Be ye holy, as I am holy”. I can only go there by way of the Savior, the Forgiver of my sins.
I want to pay tribute to wonderful people I have known, the wonderful country in which I live, the communities in which I have lived, the churches who have claimed me as their own, the God who sends shivers down my back when I really give him a portion of my time—well, maybe not shivers but tears flow easily in some of those most priceless times.
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