Friday, November 16, 2012
What really matters, I'm just sayin'...
There's a big to-do in our news lately about the ban of panhandling in downtown Colorado Springs.
A large portion of our homeless seem to congregate there.
Some folks don't like their looks.
Some don't like their smell.
Some couldn't care less, they just want to get to work every morning without being harassed every time their car comes to a stop.
I understand the attitude.
I really do.
I've noticed myself becoming more and more cynical over the years . . .
. . . for obvious reasons.
You have those whose appearance and demeanor confirm that they really are in need.
Then there are those who sit at the intersection texting on their cell phones until the light turns red, at which point they pick up their cardboard signs and start their well rehearsed 'brother can you spare a dime' speeches.
Like I said, cynical.
Most of us really do want to help. But how?
That discussion in itself is a minefield.
* "Never give a beggar cash! They'll just use it for drugs or alcohol. Give them a hot meal instead!"
Well, don't know about you, but I don't usually drive around with extra Big Macs in the car, and I'm certainly not going to pick up a stranger.
* "Go ahead, give 'em cash. It's not up to you what they do with it, it's just up to you to be generous."
Trust me, I want to help! But guys like the one in the pic above aren't getting a dime of my money!
* "Don't give them anything! They can go to a shelter or a church if they really want help."
That just sounds like Pilot washing his hands to me.
Joey and I have been approached at stop lights, shopping centers, restaurants, gas stations, and several times in the parking lot at church.
We always try to help.
Yes, we've given money.
Yes, we've given food.
Yes, we've directed the person in need to our pastors, deacons, or anyone else we thought might help.
I don't know if there is a definite right and wrong for these situations.
What I do know is that, above all, we should show Jesus to those in need.
Not long ago, we were filling up at the gas station.
As the girls and I waited in the car, a young woman approached Joey.
I couldn't hear the conversation, but I knew what she wanted.
Without hesitation, Joey walked over to her car, paid for, and pumped her gas.
The girls watched intently.
"Mom, who is that?"
"I don't know."
"Does dad know her?"
"No, he doesn't."
"Is he buying her gas?"
"Yes he is."
"Because daddy wants to be like Jesus."
"Wow. That's really cool."
I saw her children in the back seat.
I saw her talking on her cell.
I saw her husband sitting in their warm toasty car texting away while my husband stood out in the frigid air and bought their gas!
My girls saw their daddy being Jesus to a stranger.
Lord forgive me for the times my heart is hardened. Help me to always be a reflection of your love.
That's what really matters.
I'm just sayin'. . .