Tell me if you have had this experience:
You are driving along in your nice, new car with the heater blasting, comfortable, fed and nicely groomed. In your periphery vision you see a man on the sidewalk, and you turn your head and focus on him as you are stopped in traffic. It is a homeless man, sitting on the sidewalk, holding a sign asking for food or work. So you offer up a brief “Help him, God” prayer before the light changes, and then you continue on your way when the light turns green.
After a few seconds, you feel a guilt pang at the thought of your own affluence in contrast with the condition of the homeless man who has nothing. You wonder how a person could fall into such poverty and despair. And then you feel guilty for that thought, too.
So what is the best thing to do?
There are many options. You can keep praying and try to keep nonperishable food items in your car to pass out to the homeless. Or you can donate some cash to an organization that helps or give the homeless person the address of a shelter or church that gives out free food.
Every time I am faced with the above homeless-man scenario, I remind myself to get a few of those tuna packs, boxed juice drinks, beef jerky and to pick up a few dog food sample packages for pets. Then the next time I see a homeless person, I have something to give.
And I always pray.
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine,
“Dear God, help me to help those
who are less fortunate than me.
For in doing so,
I am really helping you.