i didnt give jesus a dollar

May 6, 2008

the other day i was in the parking lot of hobby lobby. a lady came up to me and asked me if i knew of any shelters in the area. i listed off what i knew and told her to go to the goodwill and ask them. she continued with her story. ….i often find that people who are unloved… unwanted… cast aside… who are struggling.. who dont have a family or a home… i find that they want to talk as much as possible, i figure they dont get to talk to many people. so i listened… i hoped she’d find a place to stay.

then she asked me for money.

i told her i was sorry i didnt carry cash. i usually dont. but i had a good bit of cash that day. im not sure where or when we learn not to give a buck to the homeless. who taught us that? who taught us to deny them a dollar when we have so many? i apologized and went on my way. that afternoon i was sick with myself. i had looked into the face of Jesus himself and said.. sorry Jesus, I’d rather keep my money, thank you. Had i recognized Jesus in his distressing disguise I would have emptied my wallet. I would have driven around town with her until we found a place for her to stay. I would have fed her. I would have loved her and taken joy in serving her. I did not.

Im finding that Jesus is continually presenting me with the opportunity to recognize Him in the people around me. He is approaching me, and begging me to look into his eyes, to see, to serve, to love him in his disguise. I’m learning. Hopefully next time i wont even consider telling jesus no when he asks me for a dollar. Im learning to empty my wallet…

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6 Responses to “i didnt give jesus a dollar”

  1. leslie Says:

    i saw the exact same woman yesterday at the lakes…i too had no cash on me…

    i heard the Lord tell me to pray with her and i didnt…i dont know why i didnt bc its not like i dont love to pray with people…huh…

  2. Amanda Says:

    This story makes me think of this woman I see every morning driving to work and every evening on my way home. She’s always walking from Harding (near Southern) to the RaceTrac (I think). Everyday, she’s always walking down the road. And every time, she’s always talking to herself. And every time I see her my heart aches and I want to bring her to her destination and get to know her. But, I stop myself because who picks up the crazy woman on the street that talks to herself??? Sometimes I just let the “circumstances” of this world get in the way of Jesus.

  3. lanacole Says:

    i see people like that all the time and feel the same way.. but i never do what i should because of all kinds of reasons.. fear and time mostly. but im pretty sure if jesus had a car he would pick her up and let her talk to him so she wouldnt have to talk to herself.

  4. Carleigh Says:

    I cannot tell you how many times I have looked the same “person” in the face and turned my head without even answering.

    One evening my husband and I stopped at the gas station by our house and I saw a guy, with a camping-style booksack walking through the parking lot. He was obviously in need of a bath and looked like he had been walking for a while. We started to drive off and I got sick to my stomach – felt like nerves and an extreme need to go back. I told my husband to go back. He looked at me like I was crazy, but he obliged and we stopped by the guy at the edge of the parking lot. We gave him $10, told him we hoped he could get something to eat with it. He just looked calmly at us and said “Jehovah-Jireh, bless you”. I got chills all the way to my toes. My husband had no IDEA what the guy was saying, but I recognized the name. It was actually unnerving. I realize I’ve had such a cold heart towards the poor throughout my life, it’s something I still struggle with, but something I see changing in my heart.

  5. Amy Says:

    A couple weeks ago there was the homeless man at the red light by target and my 7 year old daughter asked what he was doing and I gave her some explaination, I can’t remember exactly what I said… but she said..MOM give him some money! with a tone in her voice that said “how could you not give him a dollar”
    If we could all think like a 7 yr old sometimes.
    I am not sure if I was more ashamed that I didnt give him money or more proud that she has such a heart.

  6. Rich Says:

    For my part, I picked such habits up in college. We start off seeing these guys freshman year, and are more than happy to help them out with a few spare bills weighing down our wallets.

    However, financial circumstances change as we start having to pinch every penny we can just to put food in our cupboards and pay the bills every month and put gas in our cars. Instead of seeing it as something God has blessed us with that we should use for his will, we start to view each dollar as a vital component for making car payments and paying off student loans.

    Worse, after four to five years of college, the same homeless guy is still begging at the gas station. Attrition takes its toll and we begin to think nothing ever will change. Even worse, when I went to Japan, it was socially unacceptable to give handouts.

    Yet, God says he loves a cheerful giver. But we also can’t let ourselves starve or get evicted. I think this mode of thought shows how little faith we really have in the Lord’s provision, and how little we really pray about such things. After all, if you are praying about your problems, why should you worry? Ne!


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