Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Help Feed My Children

On the way home from shopping, Mr. H. and I passed a rather young man standing beside the road holding a sign that read:
“Need help. Please help feed my children. God Bless you!”
It bothered me that not one car stopped! It was as if the man were invisible. But as each car passed, he waved and smiled. It touched my heart. I smiled back. However, I had left the house, as I often do, without cash. I had my checkbook and credit card but regretted not being able to stop and give the man a little something.
Later, when I told a member of my family how much it bothered me, he said, “Don’t ever stop for anyone like that!” 
“Why?” I asked.
“Because there are ‘Help Wanted’ signs at every gas station and convenience store! If a person wants to earn money, he can. Truth is, what he probably wanted was money to buy beer… or drugs.”
“What do you have in place of a heart?” I asked.
“I’m serious.” He said. “Besides, you could get yourself killed doing that!”
My mouth O’d at the very thought!
But later, when I was alone, I thought about the man with the sign again. And I remembered what my dad used to say about beggars. It was common, when I was a child, for people to knock on your door and ask for food or money. My dad never turned anyone away empty-handed.
He said, “It doesn’t matter why a man does it, or what he does with the money you give him – that’s on his conscience. What matters is that you want to help him. Furthermore, God sees you and rewards you for it!” My dad often quoted Hebrews 13:2. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
I have no doubt my dad would have stopped to give the man a few dollars. And despite the risks, that’s what I’ll do next time.
Even if I have to write a check.  


Sandy said...

I know how you feel Peggy, but you do have to be careful. You can't trust everyone. Good post.

Anonymous said...

Times are different now than when your dad was so trusting of everyone. It's a nice thought but you just cant'.

Drema said...

At the exit of I64 to Teays Valley, a man and or a woman would be there holding their signs, later it was revealed that they make more money daily that way than they could working in store or rest.

Joy Kiser said...

Wow Peggy. Powerful. Your daddy sounded like a kind man.

Claire Swenson said...

I saw on the news that some people make $25-30,000 pan handling. I look at it as ill gotten gain and don't promote this. I give thru other channels such as Feed My Starving Children. Times have changed and the people in these times are people that I can't even recognize anymore. You have a big heart Peggy.

Peggy~ said...

Thanks, Claire! I appreciate your point of view, but I believe we're supposed to get personally involved in helping those in need. I certainly don’t criticize giving through other channels, as you do. That’s admirable! I do some of it myself. But my upbringing and Bible reading give me a strong sense that my main focus should be on human beings, not organizations. I want to be like the Good Samaritan who stopped to help a man in need, not the Levite who crossed the street to avoid him.

Anonymous said...

Peggy, your story was topped only by the comment you made. It would be a shame to pass over a really needy person because a few are otherwise calculating. How is it that we can gain so much from giving away something so small?