Published November 6, 2012
As the days get colder, the homeless seem more needy. Last evening on our walk, a man stopped us to ask for five dollars. Paul gave him a Gospel of John with a dollar bill in it.
The man again insisted that he needed five dollars. He explained that he had already had supper at a local church, but later when it gets cold, he wanted to be able to go into a shop and get a hot drink. He needed to buy something to be able to sit in the shop and warm up.
I asked why he didn't go to the city rescue mission and he told me he didn't go there because twice he was assaulted by other homeless people in that facility.
What followed was more discussion. Finally, Paul opened his wallet and to my surprise invited the man to look inside. There was one five dollar bill in his wallet. Nothing else. The man looked surprised. Then Paul invited him to return the dollar bill from the Bible and handed him the five dollar bill.
The man commented that it is tough for everyone and we agreed. He then asked our names (his was Tie) and gave each of us a hug.
When we walk, we must look either gullible or compassionate. Whichever it is, God allows these people to be in our paths and we need to respond as we are able. Do we take paths that allow us to be touched by the needy? Who is in your path? What has God given you to give someone else?
Last week my Shelia Shares was about a man who missed the opportunity to give new shoes to a man in need of them That story elicited a response from a newsletter subscriber with his missed opportunity and his redeemed opportunities to give shoes. The writer will remain anonymous at his request."I have also missed an opportunity. But, since then, I have been given two more chances to pass the test. What is so great about doing this is, the person receiving the shoes has no inkling that you are about to do this for them.
"One person I took to K-Mart and showed him where his sizes were and stepped back. Winter was approaching and I thought he should pick a pair of leathers. He picked sneakers because homeless people spend a lot of time walking the streets. I learned that what I think isn't always correct for another person.
"Tonight, I went to Kohl's and picked up the size for another person, and to my surprise they were on sale. He will receive them Thursday morning. This person was specific.
"I am keeping my eyes open for a decent pair of used size 12s whenever I go out shopping, stop at the Salvation Army Store or Goodwill. They will be nothing fancy, just practical.
"Now, I just wait until someone else needs shoes. I knew that I could share with you and Paul and not thought to be bragging."
Praise God for compassionate people, who sometimes in their own need, look for people to bless.
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