Today I saw a man pull up to a red light, take off his coat, and give it to the homeless man on the corner. Changed my countenance completely. Instantly. I had driven by this homeless man several times today and never taken any notice of him except to scoff at someone who offered him a few dollar bills. “Probably a drug addict” went through my mind. But you know what? The verses that instruct us to care for homeless people don’t end with ‘if they can prove themselves to be drug free.’ God doesn’t expect us to help only those who make decisions we like, God expects us to care for everyone. Because God knows what is on our hearts. God knows what is on the heart of the person taking your offering of money or food or your coat. You do what is right regardless of what anyone might think or what you think might happen with ‘your’ money. Only God knows for sure.
For me, I realized that I could almost always offer him something that couldn’t be used illicitly. As a nursing mother of two small children, I always, always, always have food with me. What would it cost me to give him my baggie of goldfish crackers and package of applesauce? From now on, I will try to carry information about the resources in town for homeless people. I should be keeping a little extra food in the car anyway, just for safety’s sake. There’s no reason I can’t give some snacks with contact information to a shelter to someone standing on the street corner asking for help.
And after tonight, I think it might be expected of me.