A stranger, in rough, dusty clothes stood at the exit to the shopping plaza holding a sign, “I’m hungry and out of work.”
As we approached the corner in our car, Tom turned to me and said, “Have you any change?” I scrambled through the chaos of computer, cords etc. that cover my feet every time we travel, in search of my purse.
“Only $20, shall I give him that?”
The person behind us honked. Tom pulled away. With my hesitation, the moment was lost. Why didn’t I roll down the window and hand the man the $20? We would all have an answer. It was too much. Was he really out of work? What will he do with it?
A few days later, we parked in front of a stranger looking even more scruffy. He held a sign saying: “Hungry, no money, heading east.” I was desperate for my bathroom stop but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. “Tom,” I said, “Please give that young man some money and some food from our lunch pail. Talk with him. Find out his story.” and I hurried off.
When I returned Tom reported, “Gave him $5 and some cheese packets which are a good resource for a traveler.”
I know that my faith requires good deeds. I find it easy to donate money to church missions, or other groups because I trust it will be used wisely for people who truly need it. When it comes to giving to individuals, factors like true need, deserving, and my own safety, come into play. I forget to just give without judgment.
Slowly, I’m learning – learning to personally give away money and even my books and leave God responsible for the outcome. With this growth in generosity on an individual level, my faith has deepened. I am learning the truth of the Bible’s word, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17)