The other night, my husband and I stopped by the bank to deposit a check. The bank is near a strip mall where homeless people often hang out, and when we pulled up, a man walked through the dark parking lot.
It was early enough that I wasn’t really afraid for my safety, but I couldn’t help the queasy feeling I got. It made me ashamed.
He looked young and fit, carried a bag and a few other things and moved with purpose. But his clothes and coat (it’s still quite warm down here) had that “homeless” air.
I wonder what his story is, how he ended up where he is in life, if there’s anyone out there who cares about him or who he cares about.
I believe that we’re supposed to help our fellow man—especially ones in situations like that. It’s between you and God if you want to abuse my kindness, but it’s between me and God whether I’m willing to offer any help in the first place.
A couple of weeks before that, a woman stopped us as my family and I left a restaurant and asked if we could give her some money for gas. We couldn’t, but I vowed I’d start carrying a small amount of cash for just such occasions. A couple of bucks can go a long way.
I wonder how people cope as we become increasingly cashless. It’s safer for me not to carry any, but it leads to missed opportunities to show God’s love to people who desperately need it (and face it, we all desperately need God’s love).
So as we begin to head into the holiday season, I urge you to think about your fellow man and small ways you can help. For my husband and I, it meant a quick search for local charities that help feed and house the homeless. We might not have been able to do anything for the two people who crossed our path, but we’ll do our best to keep that from being the end of the story.