Providing for the Poor

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As it pertains to responding to the requests of the poor and homeless, it seems we have questions as to the right way in which to respond. I wrote at iBelieve about one such positive experience I had. Please join me there today as we explore this topic approaching the Thanksgiving season when opportunities to give abound.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. ~Matthew 7:7

My family was eating lunch at a local restaurant amidst dark, black clouds threatening an approaching thunderstorm. I glanced out the window to survey the progression of the storm when I saw a man ride up on his bicycle. It was apparent he was homeless by his unkempt appearance and his beard that hadn’t seen a trim in many months, perhaps years.

I looked at this man and thought: what a hard life. Not knowing where the next meal will come from, not sure of where to spend the night or pass the time until storm blows over. I remarked the same to my husband and his response surprised me, maybe he looks at us the same way. I was stunned. What if my husband was right? Maybe the homeless man sees the unrealistic expectations that I cling to, the purchases I make and the hours that were necessary to work in order to make those purchases. Maybe he looks at my choices to take care of two children and prepare their three meals–and seemingly equal three snacks–a day and think: that’s too much work.

Please head over to iBelieve to finish reading this post and join me in the discussion. (Click here.)

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  1. I have been a part of the private sector and a mon Christian and now I am poor and a Christian. I have been homeless, loosing everything after a breakdown from a highly abusive ex husband and a highly stressful and demanding job. After an eviction from my apt., a series of events I had no control over led to my eviction, I was homeless. I’m 55 and being poor is not how I envisioned myself at this age. I moved to northern CA and stayed at a nite shelter for 4 months where I was “promoted” from guest to host. I had alot of interaction with homeless, older folks. There are kids traveling that may look homeless, but they have nice, clean gear, cell phones, etc. gor them it is a choice. For 99 percent of the older homeless (40 yrs on up), it is not a personal choice, but one made for them due to mental illness, slcohol and/or drug addiction, brain damage, parolees, etc. When I approach or am approached by someone asking for money or food, I usually buy food, but if not possible, I error on the side of the person asking and always in my head I hear “be kind to strangers for they may be angels” and so what if I give a $1 , sometimes less, to someone who panhandles for a living. It’s just money and holding onto it too tightly may mean not helping an angel. The homeless are not thinking about where you got your money, their concerns are far more towards their daily and sometimes monetary survival needs. Many homeless succumb to the elements both old and young, improper clothing, nourishment, sleeping bags, etc. I have not had to sleep on the cement and I am truly thankful to God for that. I am renting a room currently, but always in the back of my mind is that I could become homeless as could any of us living paycheck to paycheck, through no fault of our own and it is an incredibly hard way to live. Give thanks and praise always to helping others.

    • Dear Cindy,
      Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I deeply appreciate your conviction to help the poor and your insight. Praise the Lord that you are now a Christ follower. Amen and welcome to God’s family. I pray for your daily needs being met. I pray that even in your poor financial state that you would be rich in Christ Jesus. Thank you again for sharing your story and words of advice with me. I cannot tell you how much it means to me.
      Brooke

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