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Fulfillment May 14, 2007

Posted by amybeth in Deep.
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Today as I was going into the store to pick up my pizza, a man stopped me and asked me for change.  I said no, as usual. I’ve never felt comfortable responding to requests like this cuz I feel I don’t know enough to discern whether they genuinely need the money or are just looking for alchohol or something.  And I’ve always felt guilty about not responding.  He then stopped me on the way out as well and this time I ignored him.

As I got into my car I felt horrible. And something in me said that this time I should respond.  I felt like I should go back and give him $2.  That was the number that popped in my head.  So…I parked my car again and went back and asked him what he needed the money for.  When he said ‘food’, I gave him the money.  I then got back in my car and drove away.

And felt foolish the whole time.  I think some of it is that I feel for the person, how degrading it must be to ask for and be given small change.  And I felt silly giving him $2 when I’d just passed by him with a pizza. And should I have made more conversation…asked him more about himself, his situation…found out about his need?  I don’t know.  I’m praying God will teach me more.

But the main point of this post is a thought I had as I was driving home.  If I had felt impressed to go out of my way to provide him with a meal or arrange for him to get temporary housing or something more substantial than just giving him some small change…would I have done it?  Would I have responded to the prompting or dismissed it due to how inconvenient it would be?

And then I thought about how I would feel afterwards if I had done such a thing.  Sure, I might have felt a momentary irritation, but in the long run I would have felt like I had done something meaningful with my time, made a difference in a life.  How often do we complain about not being fulfilled, about our lives being too mundane and boring, about never having the opportunities to do something significant for God…and then we walk right by the potential opportunities he places before us because they come at an innopportune time or don’t look the way we anticipate?

Father forgive me for being so hypocritical, so willing to justify my inactivity and disobedience and for having the nerve to then complain about the consequences.  Teach me to respond to you, to trust you for discernment, to look for opportunities to touch lives even in small ways.

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Comments»

1. patti - May 16, 2007

“How often do we complain about not being fulfilled, about our lives being too mundane and boring, about never having the opportunities to do something significant for God…and then we walk right by the potential opportunities he places before us because they come at an innopportune time or don’t look the way we anticipate?”

THAT is a very powerful insight, especially in the context of the story.

2. Hamameliss - May 23, 2007

A very interesting story because I have seen lots of homeless recently and have been prompted to give them whatever food I have available at the time and look them in the eye and see them as a real person. It has surprised me how many times they have been willing to accept food and thank me for it! Someone mentioned recently the idea of putting together a backpack of supplies that would be useful for a homeless person and handing them out. I have considered doing it several times, but haven’t found the time yet to go to the store and put it together. Each time I see another homeless person I am reminded of that…

3. Tony AKA McFoley339 - June 14, 2007

I run into “homeless” and “needy” people all the time. I know how you feel about giving them money. I struggle with trusting them with money thinking that they will just go by booze or worse. It’s so hard to tell if the person is truly in need or just out scamming people. Instead of offering them money, I like to walk them to the nearest restaurant and buy them a simple meal. If I have time I’ll chat with them and/or give them a tract like this one: http://www.dinataletech.com/tracts/good_person/


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