LESSON FROM A STREET ENCOUNTER

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 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 begging – 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.

***************

This was an incident that happened back when I could do street ministry kinds of things. I first blogged the story in August 2016

Image: Pixabay

See more “Street” submissions at https://wordpress.com/tag/discover%20prompts   

Daily prompt at https://wordpress.com/discover-wordpress/tag/discover-prompts/  

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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19 Responses to LESSON FROM A STREET ENCOUNTER

  1. Wow! Thanks for being faithful. God is with you.

    Blessings.

  2. pranabaxom says:

    Give without a thought of being repaid.
    Judge not lest you should be judged. (and found wanting).
    It is ok not to give if you don’t fell like but not ok to justify the reasons. We shall never know why one begs.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Hello, Pranab. I’m not sure what you are telling me that is applicable here. If you read all of it, I hope you could see that I was judging myself as well as asking a question of others about their own evaluation of themselves. I’ve missed you a few days. Are you handling quarantine okay. My hubby and I are being good about it. We’ve even watched a few movies together. Just watched African Queen. Fun to watch.

      • pranabaxom says:

        No, I am telling that to myself .
        Like you said, many a times I just pass by avoiding eye contact and feel guilty afterwards.

        I don’t have an issue with the stay home advisory. I will rather do that then be in a situation like Italy or Spain.
        Hail to Netflix, it’s making it easier to pass time. I could walk down to the trail head for hike up the hills near my house but avoiding that because though it is not yet illegal to do so, I don’t want to send a wrong message. So my daily walk has been curtailed to a large extent. I just walk with my dog in the morning and evening for a couple of miles each day. By the way, he is the happiest of all for this stay at home as he now sleeps in the couch next to me for hours curled up like a bal.
        However my writing has suffered. I am not finding much positive to write about.l

        • oneta hayes says:

          Thanks for the explanation. Try out the Discover Prompts with ;me. There are a lot doing them so it is hard for me to deal with so many. But I do read and find a few people to follow each day. You could write a jingle, ode, ballad, or haiku on any subject. One of the reasons my husband and I are so submissive to this quarantine is that there is no where to fly off to. We would just get a door shut in our face, find it locked already, or get lectured by our kids.

  3. pranabaxom says:

    “get lectured by the kids” – I am getting this by an ear full. As if I got to be this old without learning a thing or two on the way.

    Will look at the discover.

  4. Agent X says:

    I read the post twice, trying to make sure I understand. Not sure if I do.

    Are you saying the “lesson” here is that you learned SOME people who BEG HAVE A STANDARD?

    • oneta hayes says:

      Perhaps you are understanding. I’m not sure. Sorry I did not do it well enough. Yes, I am saying that many people who do not live in accordance with my standards, still have standards that they a proud to stick by. For instance, I have a standard to not steal, not even from my employer who has plenty of pencils, paper clips, etc. Others have standard to not steal – unless they are taking from someone who they consider rich and not in need. I end by asking myself about my own standards. Are they based on the Bible? I hope so. My unwritten question to my readers would be, “By what standard do you live your life?” Or do you have one? Is that plainer. Thanks for the question.

  5. How true it is that we think “sinners” are the people who sin a little more than we do.

  6. Rockhorses says:

    That was a nice story. I want to help those kinds of people. Most of the time my family gives little Bibles to people on the side of the road when the drive by. I’ve always been told to be careful because of the people that pretend to be homeless. That’s what makes me mad. People wearing their worst torn garments, and lie. Of coarse it does not happen that much but still… 😦 … at least they get a free Bible. 🙂

    • oneta hayes says:

      I understand about the “mad” part. You notice I called myself hard-hearted. But that is the reason this occasion was so significant to me. It definitely was not my usual response.

  7. Faye says:

    Thank you for sharing. Caution always but Jesus did not consider anyone beneath His Love and Care. He did not hand out literature either but genuinely wanted to ‘interact’ and heal the situation. Each of us are called to BE as Christ in the streets and He will guide and lead us as He knows is appropriate for us personally. Blessings!

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