It was Thursday after school, so after stopping to pick up Great-Grand-Daughter (hereafter called GGD), we were off to adventures. We didn’t know what, but they are always welcome.
In what is becoming a common problem, I got on the wrong street and we came out on a rather large lot behind a warehouse. There was a woman who was pushing two shopping carts. She would push one forward about fifteen feet; then she would go back and get the second one. We watched her a bit. Then on a whim, I said to GGD, “Roll down your window—Woman was on the passenger side—and ask her if she wants to go to that Mexican restaurant located nearby.” So GGD did. Woman responded that she would love to but she couldn’t because of the dog in one of her shopping cards. But she said she was hungry so if we had any leftovers we could bring to her, she would be grateful.
GGD and I went to the restaurant; it was not what we expected so we didn’t stay. However, if you know the tender heart of an eleven-year-old GGD, you know that was not the end of the story.
GGD asked what we were going to take Woman to eat. I didn’t think it would be so bad to forget her. After all, if she had money enough to feed her dog, she could feed herself. But no way was that going to happen with GGD. Now this is somewhat of a coincidence, but there was an off street sign that said “Enter here for MacDonald’s.” Well, how much plainer could God get in my face! So we went through the drive way and I bought a chicken sandwich. Although I pointed out to GGD that Woman was probably not in the same lot so we wouldn’t know where to find her. Unhampered GGD told me to go see.
Now that is a lot of background to get to the meat of this story.
So around the blocks we go to find Woman. She was close to where we left her. She was putting down a tarp in a corner of a building where she was protected on two sides. When she saw us, she came toward the car. The dog was out of the basket but tied securely to something. He couldn’t reach us, but it was obvious that he was protection for Woman. He didn’t settle down much while we were there. We gave her the sandwich, looking for an opportunity to “witness” for Jesus. She saw an opportunity and started “witnessing” to us. We ended up having a pleasant conversation about Jesus’ coming soon. She said she would see us when we all get over there. GGD and I took out for home. We talked about how smart Woman was. Although it was 4:30, she was staking out a place to spend the night. She obviously was not there to carouse the town. I had thought her dog was a needless expense to her, but I realized he was a very necessary protection. She was clean, maybe that McDonald’s nearby helped out that way. But where did she leave the dog while taking a restroom break? I don’t know a lot about that kind of life; in fact, I’m ignorant about such survival issues.
GGD asked me why it seemed that Christians were sort of hard-hearted toward street people and the homeless. Now, my Christian friends, answer that. I had to acknowledge that if GGD had not pushed me, I would have driven on by. I tried to explain that addictions of some kind were the root cause of most of the homelessness and there are quite a lot of charity, church, and government opportunities where homeless can go for help. Addictions have to be paid for; most of the consequences are tragic.
Bless the heart of your dear GGD. And sadly she is right. I think we as Christians do have a tendency to judge street people. Yes, there are “professional” panhandlers, but we can’t judge them all that way and we need compassion like Jesus. We don’t have to know the person’s whole story and why they are on the street before we give a hand out! All Jesus asks is that we see others through His eyes.
Prayer: Lord, keep my heart soft and sensitive to your needy ones, stir my soul with compassion.
Kindness to the poor is a loan to the LORD, and He will repay the lender. -Proverbs 19:17 BSB
When we help the poor, regardless of why they are there, God takes it as if you helped Him. That type of kindness and love toward people is what God rewards.
Yes, that verse is well known to me. I have lived it and I have taught it. I believe it. I admit I do not always walk in it. Prayer: Lord, slow me down to see and heed in any situation where I am needed and can make a difference.
That is a fantastic observation. It’s right there in the Bible. This is God’s word, not yours or mine. He said it.
And look what happens when you let it bounce sparks off other passages like Matt. 25 (… when you did it to the least of these brothers, you did it to me (or not)). That bum isn’t JUST some bum; that’s Jesus! Mighta looked like some bum, mighta smelled like some bum, mighta sounded like some undeserving bum too, but if you are talking to the least of these brothers, you are talking to Jesus. That’s what he says.
Be sure to show hospitality, because some have entertained angels unaware! (Hebrews 13).
And just look at the Bible. Who ever entertained angels unaware? Well, the premier case study is found in Gen. 18 when Abe and Sarah host three Strangers trespassing the front lawn. In that case, Abe and Sarah never realize exactly Who they host, and in fact, Sarah laughs at them! But host them, they do! And right in the next chapter, two of these Strangers wind up at Lot’s door too.
But my favorite example of this comes in Luke 24 at Emmaus. The Stranger (he may not appear as a bum per se, but he is a stranger to these disciples nonetheless) walks with the disciples all the way to their home opening God’s word for them and their hearts burn within them. They insist this Stranger stay and refresh himself. They are unaware of WHO they entertain! He reveals himself in the breaking of bread, but before that, they play host to God by inviting him in to share their home.
When we establish this webwork of Bible insight (and there is much more than this), a much clearer picture of God’s will for our lives comes into view. And your observation kicks it all off!
Thanx for going to God’s word for this. That is so important.
God bless you, and God bless this post!
God bless GGD!
Wow! And Amen.
Best Woman Blog