Confession – how many times have you passed by a homeless man or woman without helping?

By Contributor Andy Lee

I can’t get him out of my mind.

As we parked at the Kentucky Fried Chicken, I saw his thin frame limp into the brightly lit restaurant. His bulky winter coat, knit cap and backpack seemed out of place on this fairly warm winter night. His attire made me wonder if he had a home. He definitely did not have a car.

We ordered our thirty hot wings and mashed potatoes and then sat at a table to wait for our order. Our time was limited. The football game resumed in ten minutes.

Across the room, he sat alone in the corner booth. His weathered face was golden from the sun. His wrinkles told a tale of a long, hard life, but his smile denied their story. His countenance brought joy into the room.

With each bite of his order of fries, he closed his eyes as if he were eating lobster and steak tartare. He savored each ounce of his minute meal.

How long had it been since he had eaten? Where did he live? How could I help?

Did he need my help?

The same thoughts and feelings penetrated my heart similar to those I experience when I pass ragged men on corners holding cardboard signs. He held no sign. But maybe his meal had been provided by someone who had actually stopped to give him a dollar.

My husband and I walked out of the restaurant and headed back to a comfortable, warm home. And I made a resolution to actually do something next time.

Again.

What do you do in these situations?

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4 responses to “Confession – how many times have you passed by a homeless man or woman without helping?

  1. Chuck"Sparkie"Davis

    I work with the homeless,I’m with Brunswick County Streetreach,I thank God for the awareness this paper is doing for the homeless.They are there we can’t just ignore them they are humans just like us only less fortunate.Matthew 25:35 I was hungry and you gave me food thirsty and gave me something to drink,I was a stranger and you took me in. when you do this you may be entertaining angels.Also to see for them to know somebody cares is PRICELESS!

  2. Great Article! So many times we walk right pass the needy, as if they are invisible. Only to forget that it could easily be one of us or one of our family members. I thank you for bringing awareness about this troubling issue. I believe that this is an issue that the ‘churches’ need to address. The Lord calls us to be our brothers keeper. It is not suggested….it is a command. No matter what caused their situation, they are still God’s children and they are no less deserving of His love and our help!

  3. Hi Andy! It was great meeting you at the Salt Shaker tonight! Love your post here! Thought provoking and something that I think so many can relate to!

    I seem to spot men with signs often and many times my children are in the car with me. My children now speak up and say, “Mom, aren’t we going to help him out? Do you remember that other time we bought food for that one guy at Wendy’s and handed him the meal?” We have helped out those in need several times, (not to toot my own horn here) but, I have also passed by others many times for whatever reason.

    I do try to see these men/women as Jesus would and they too are children of God who may have made poor choices to get them to where they are today. I’m not always comfortable about giving out money, not to say that I haven’t before. If I can, I usually stop and buy a meal at the closest fast food place and approach the gentlemen who is in need. I have chatted with a few and asked them their name and have told them we will pray for them. They always seem so gracious and I want them to know that someone cares, no matter what their situation. I don’t know their story of how they end up on the streets begging for work/food/love, but I hope even a small meal and a smile can lift their spirits. Plus, I want my children to know that it is in giving and not judging that makes us truly happy in our walk with Christ.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and actions! It is such a testimony to our kids when we give. One great idea I’ve heard and used is buying gift cards to give away.

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