There is this intersection near where I live that is called 7 corners. It is my least favorite intersection in the whole world (but that is a different story). At this intersection, there is always someone standing on the side of the road holding a sign and asking for money. My heart always goes out to those people, whether you see them at an intersection or a store or just walking down the streets. I hate being in that situation when they ask you for money, because I feel that giving them a handout is not the option. You never know where they are going to spend that money and many times you could just be enabling them to stay on the streets. Maybe I have just heard too many stories, but I am always very hesitant to hand out money and I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing.
So I find myself in these situations where I see someone ahead who I know will ask me for a handout and I think about how I will react. I have found that I either look the other way or just shake my head. No smile, no words. I just shrug it off. As I write these words I am filled with great conviction. I don't see these people through God's eyes. Who cares if they are on drugs or addicted to alcohol. Jesus died for them! God created them, He loves them, and He does not like seeing them begging on the streets. That is not God's design for their life.
Today I went to 7 Eleven to get a drink and there was a man outside who asked me for change as I walked into the store. I politely shook my head and the second that I stepped into the store I knew that I was supposed to buy something for him to eat. I decided on a Snickers Marathon energy bar. I thought that it would be something that the guy would actually enjoy and would probably give him a little bit of the nutrition that he needs (evidently it is good enough for Marathon runners, so it should be good for this guy too). I walked outside and asked the guy if he was hungry. He nodded his head and I gave him the Snickers bar. And that was the end of it. I walked away and got in my car.
I have done things like that before (buying people food), but it has been a long time since I have. I don't like giving out money, but I do feel comfortable with buying someone some food. I wish that I had sat down with this man and heard his story. I wish that I had the courage to offer to pray for him (not many people turn down prayer). But for me, stepping out and buying someone an energy bar was a step in the right direction.