Thursday, January 22, 2015


I'm struggling with something this morning, so, of course, I am going to turn to my blog and then post it on Facebook as this is the source of all wisdom. I'm struggling with how I feel about the people at the top of the off ramp at Medical Center. It seems like there are 4-5 different ones that rotate. It's not just them though, its everyone standing on a ramp, corner, whatever, holding a sign asking for money.

Part of me says "get a job!!" Part of me says, "Giving them a dollar will in no way cause me any troubles, go ahead and give."

Part of me is quite prejudiced. I "prejudge" what they will do with the money. "Probably just go buy alcohol or drugs," I say to myself. "Tough love to not give them money." Another part of me says, "that is stupid. They are stuck in such a dark place that they can only survive by soliciting money on an interstate ramp."

Still another part of me is just uncomfortable. "Those people" remind me just how privileged I am. Yes, I worked hard to get where I am. Yes, I earned a lot and yes I made good decisions that got me here. BUT, I was also blessed with great parents, a great wife, a fantastic up-bringing, amazing teachers, abilities and gifts from our creator and much more. I have been blessed by family members that were frugal and smart and left legacies. I acknowledge that everything I have did NOT just come from me. "They" remind me that not everyone has it as good as I do. "They" remind me that I could have been in their shoes with just a few decisions going the other way. "They" bring up guilt, compassion, introspection. "They" make me uncomfortable in my nice car, headed to my nice office, having left my nice home in my nice clothes.

So I ignore them. 99.9% of the time I ignore them. I consciously look straight ahead or make sure I am a lane of traffic away from them at the red light. Maybe if I don't look, they will just go away. I secretly breath a sigh of relief when I pull up and "they" aren't there. "Whew, I can get through the red light without feeling bad."

I know this is not what God wants. Matthew 25:31-46. I am ignoring God. Giving to "these people" is an act of love. It is giving of myself to someone in a worst position. It doesn't matter how they got there. It doesn't even matter what they do with the love I give them. How often do I not do the right thing with the love God gives me. I need to share with "them." I need to minister to "them." When I say "minister," I don't mean preach, I mean help. They don't need church. They don't need programs. They need help. They need the Jesus that was in John 8:1-11.

So how do I do it? Do I hand each of "them" a buck? Do I put them in my car and buy them a burger? I don't know yet. I don't know what the "best" answer is. I think I can start by NOT ignoring them.

What do you think?
What do you do?