‘Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house?’ (Isaiah 58, vs. 7a)
Today I was going shopping for groceries, and, as I was exiting the highway I saw a young girl of about 20 something holding a makeshift sign saying she was homeless and hungry. Since I was
stopped at a light I had time to examine this person, noticing that she had on good clothes, nice heavy boots and an expensive backpack.
Given this evidence I doubted that she really was homeless, much less hungry. Or, could I be wrong? How would I know what struggles this young person has faced. Maybe her parents kicked her out of their home. Maybe she was a recovering drug addict or alcoholic or who knows what…
What I did was to create all of these excuses to not help her. Was I right in not helping? Should I help when my mind tells me this person will use my gift to purchase things other than food? How would I know? Do I need to know?
We have all seen these people at intersections, under bridges, Steeler games, Pirates games. Sadly, I have become desensitized as I suspect all of us have in seeing them, as opposed to feeling a twinge of guilt for being fortunate to have all the things I need and want in life. But, I think the fact is, many people do struggle with monstrous and debilitating demons. It troubles me that I do not have an adequate response to these people whose needs are great.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive us when we neglect to help those around us who need a helping hand. Lead us to learn how to respond to those who are facing struggles we cannot adequately understand. Be with those whose lives are ones of sadness and pain. Amen