Lets talk about beggars.
This is a messy issue.
I feel like there is no easy answer. It’s so hard to tell what the right thing is in those situations.
As a personal rule I never give money to kids for a variety of reasons. (It reinforces their begging, many times they are working for gangs, the money is more likely to go for glue to sniff than for food, etc.) I try to carry candy or peanuts to give to kids when they beg. But I often forget to put food in my bag so most times I just say I don’t give money to kids and ask them where their mom is. I will give pocket change here and there to adults or folks who are disabled.
But with the lady today…did we do the right thing not giving her money? Did I deny Christ in that moment? What if the money had gone to something bad? What if it wouldn’t? Even if it did am I still supposed to give in faith sometimes even if the outcome is a negative one?
How do you ever know what the right thing is?
After she had walked off it occurred to me that I should have just bought her some food. I was sitting in front of a restaurant for goodness sake.
I want so desperately to help those who are hurting. But giving money doesn’t always make it better. It can make it worse sometimes. So…I don’t think there is an answer that is always right. Each situation is different. I guess the important thing is just to keep in tune with the Spirit. Try to keep our hearts in generous mode. And realize that we’re gonna get it wrong sometimes.
I want to help people who need it. But I don’t want to go about it stupidly.
I like giving apples and things to kids when I come out of the grocery store. It makes me feel better about it. Like I’m doing something. …And if it makes me feel better, then am I doing it for me? To somehow appease myself with “Well, at least I did something,” even when thousands of kids here go homeless and hungry?
An apple is not a sacrifice.
God calls for total sacrifice and I constantly struggle with what that means for me today where I am. “Am I doing enough?” is an ever present question in my little brain. Enough of the right sorts of things? What is enough? Who’s definition of enough is the right one? How can I give more of myself? Where am I being selfish? And how on earth do I balance that with not burning myself out? What is there for me to do well in this season? On this very day?
Oh, God grant me a generous heart. And the wisdom to use it well. Nothing you require is too much.
“[The Old Testament prophets] contend that everything, absolutely everything, takes place on sacred ground. God has something to say about every aspect of our lives…Nothing is hidden from the scrutiny of God. Nothing exempt from the rule of God. Nothing escapes the purposes of God. Holy, holy, holy.”