You know the ones. They're usually poorly dressed, with a backpack at their feet. The sign says "Will work for food", or "Homeless. Please Help". Maybe you see them on your way to work? Or while running errands? You pretend not to notice them. You avoid their glance. Yeah, those people.
Have you found yourself annoyed by them? How dare they stand there everyday and beg you for money. They're probably liars, scam artists, just out to make a quick buck. Or they're addicts and will just waste your money on drugs and alcohol. Whatever it is, you know there is no good reason why they don't have a job. They're obviously lazy. Let's see, what other assumptions can we use to make ourselves feel better about ignoring them.
My goodness, if you were to give some of your spare change to everyone that asked you, why that would add up to... uh, let's see here... 50 cents per day times the guy at 5th and main plus the kid downtown... carry the one... Well, TOO much, THAT'S for sure. And besides, you tithe to your church and give money every year to the homeless shelter. You're doing you're part, right?
So why can't you look them in the eyes? Why do you have to pretend to be on the phone? Why can't you roll down your window and say hello?
"Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land." Deuteronomy 15:10-11
This was originally posted in 2005.