Here lately, my heart has been broken for the homeless. Daily, I encounter many homeless vendors hustling the street corners to sell the Contributor. They buy the paper for $.25 and sell them for $1.00. I cannot imagine what is like to only make a couple of dollars a day and have to rely on the grace and mercy of others every single day.
I am ashamed to admit, but in the past I had a different opinion of the homeless. I thought that if I gave them money, they would just use it to buy drugs or alcohol. My perception changed when I saw a homeless woman with her down syndrome child. It seemed that they lived inside their car. No man, woman, or child for that matter should have to live in a car. Everyone deserves a meal and a place to sleep, and it is not my place to judge them on what led them to this situation.
My job is to give and serve. When my money or items (articles of clothing, food, or toiletries) leave my hands, then it is out of my control. What they choose to do with it is their choice. I have sowed a seed of love and hopefully made an impact.
1 Peter 4:9-11 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
Is there a need to serve around you? Is it on your street corner, your neighbor, or your friend? Can you give your time or your resources? Can you serve in the soup kitchen? Can you spend $1.00 on the Contributor? Can you simply smile, acknowledge them, and make them feel valued?
My purpose in writing this is not to condemn, but inspire. Use your gifts wisely and don’t let them go to waste.
“The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.” -Ethel Percy Andrus