This blog post was originally published on October 26, 2019.
The other day when driving home from a business meeting, in heavy rush hour traffic, I was stopped at a red light waiting for it to turn green, when a homeless man pacing up and down the sidewalk caught my attention. There was something about the man that made me fixate on him. He turned around and noticed my stare. Without hesitation, I reached into my wallet, retrieved five dollars, lowered the window, then passed the five dollars to him. The man responded by saying “thank you and God bless you ma’am.” I responded in kind saying “God bless you!” The light turned green, then I continued on my way. The exchange took place in less than thirty seconds, but has played out in my mind multiple times since it occurred.
I have asked myself, why did I help that man and not the ten, or twenty before him? And why did I even look at him? It has been suggested to me on more than one occasion, to ignore homeless people, and to not take part in their panhandling. However, when I looked at the man, I did not see a homeless person panhandling, I saw a human being making a desperate attempt to receive help. I gave him five dollars, but I pulled off wondering will five dollars really help? I am not joking when I tell you Psalms 46:1 popped into my head! The scripture reads: God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. The scripture does not simply refer to God as help, but it describes the help as a very present help. The adjective, present, lets the reader know that the help is existing or occurring now. This scripture sends a message of assurance! A present help is what I want to be for others! So, the next time someone is in need of help, consider an immediate response, and not a when you can get around to it response.