I was in the car yesterday at a stoplight while out running errands. As I looked out my window, I saw a woman there with a sign asking for a donation. I reached into my wallet to pull out my solitary dollar (I tend to use check cards so I don’t carry much cash), then I beckoned the woman over. I actually had to wait as the truck in front of me was doing the same thing. She came, got my dollar, then I noticed that the person behind me was giving as well and it made me think back to other times I’d given to someone on the street. It seems to me that if one persons starts the process, then other people tend to pick up on the moment and give as well. Perhaps they already had it in mind to do so…perhaps it was guilt, or peer pressure…. Who knows? But I know the end result is that the person was helped.
Now I know there are myriad reasons for not wanting to give money to a person on the street corner and I will admit that those thoughts cross my mind as well, but the bottom line is we are told to give to those in need. Period. I won’t beat a dead horse here, but I will say that I just make it my policy to give and not question the motives of the receiver. That is between God and them as far as I am concerned. What I tend to think of is:
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40 ESV)
Remember, an enormous chain of events can start with a single action. Will you be the one to start it all?