Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do I practice what I believe?

This morning I was presented with a situation that really tested whether I practiced what I preached.  As I was getting in my car at McD's, an older man came up to me to ask whether I could spare $.40.  There were other people around so I didn't feel in danger or anything but I acted as if I didn't hear him and got in my car. 

However, the whole time I was backing out, I could feel the guilt.  What if he was homeless?  What if he had mental issues?  What if he was a vet?  I had just decided to dig out $.50 and hand it to him when he approached another gentlemen and that man gave him money and talked with him.

As I pulled out onto the highway, I immediately started praying for forgiveness.  I could have spared the money.  Heck, I could have bought him breakfast and not "felt" it.  So why did I not?  Why did I freeze up? 

I'm not a big fan of panhandlers/street beggars.  While living in Baton Rouge for 2 years, I dealt with them quite a bit.  However, you don't see them often in Woodward and especially not at McDonalds.  When I left, the verse "Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me." kept running through my head.  You could tell by the way he was dressed and by his clothing that this man was one of "the least of these".  And I, by ignoring his request, failed miserably at doing for the least of these.

It's easy to talk about caring for those less fortunate and even easy to donate clothing and /or money for those causes.  Doing is sometimes another thing altogether.  I just hope that next time, I follow the Holy Spirit's lead instead of running the other direction.


  1. oh dia, i completely understand!! i too have failed at that miserably. There was a point in my life that i would give and help without question..but I too now doubt people, i hear about so many scams and crooks in my field of work that i feel that i have put on blinders!! thank you for posting this, this will remind me to stop and observe the whole situation!

  2. Don't beat yourself up over this, Dia. This gentleman clearly caught you off guard, and you reacted out of shock - not out of greed or lack of compassion. The fact that you felt such remorse speaks volumes about your generous nature and kindness. Besides, if your mom is anything like mine, she taught you at a very young age not to speak to strangers...especially strange men who approach unaccompanied ladies in the McDonald's parking lot.

    Ever the cynic, it's odd to me that he specifically requested $40. If he had truly been hungry, I think he would have asked for money for lunch or a "donation"...but forty bucks?? That seems a lofty goal for a vagrant in the parking lot. Keep in mind that the liquor store is very nearby, and he could have had other plans for your hard-earned cash...

    I'm sure the next time a situation like this presents itself, you will pause and consider your options. I don't know that I would personally ever hand over cash, but a Big Mac and some fries will certainly fill a rumbling tummy!! :D

  3. Amy, it was actually 40 cents he wanted and that's what I thought. Why didn't I just go buy the poor guy some breakfast. I had never seen him there before so he wasn't just some person that was out there begging in the parking lot all the time. Hopefully I will react better next time and not just dodge the issue!!