That was the question I heard yesterday at the gas station. I had just handed a young lady $2. It would have been more but $2 was all I had. She said she needed money for her and her daughter and asked if I could help.
As I walked inside a man in a truck rolled down his window and asked me if I was a softie. I responded with “we are told not to judge, but to give”. There was an exchange back and forth that was not productive between the two of us and I walked inside. The exchange included some statements about her fancy car and how we are supposed to help when asked but neither of us were satisfied.
I used to think like that man. I would see someone begging for money and think ‘get a job’ or ‘how lazy’ but I have been convinced that I am supposed to help when asked. I tend to let my heart lead and I guess help based on my feelings but when I feel prompted to give, I do. We don’t know how they got where they are but we know they are asking for help.
I assume everyone’s circumstances are temporary and with a little help they can get to the next phase in life. I know folks that have gone through foreclosure, bankruptcy and wondering about the next meal who in the past were hard working and paid their bills. It was temporary and there was an opportunity to help. They were helped and now are back on their feet and can pay their bills, make the rent and are ready to think about owning a home again. Some lessons were taught and learned.
I’ve thought about the man in the truck and wonder if the conversation could have gone differently. I think I should have asked if he was a Christian first. I presumed he was because I am. ABC took a poll and found we as Americans say we’re Christian 83% of the time so I guess it was a valid assumption but we all know what happens when we assume. When I pointed out that we are not supposed to judge, I was judging him and he knew it. Defenses when up and there we were, having a verbal battle that no one would win.
I should have asked him more questions because the one asking questions controls the conversation. I don’t know the answers to my questions because I did not ask them. Regardless of what you think of my actions, I believe I should help when asked and I do most times. A lot has to do with the manner of asking. I know there are bad actors out there and I suppose some of the money I gave went to buy drugs or alcohol but that is not my responsibility. I believe God has made it clear to me that I should help. What they do with the money is their responsibility. Anything else is judging and I know I am not supposed to do that.
It’s 6am and time to get on to something else but I needed to get this off my mind.
Thanks for listening,
- It’s show time – almost!
- Thomas Claxton – Tuesday Night Tunes