As you did it to one of the least…

You did it to me (Jesus in Matthew 25:40).  We’ve all been in that situation, stopped at the busy intersection (walking the dusty trail through Samaria) when we see the disheveled homeless Vet walking down the line of cars.  A torrent of thoughts race through our minds: Is he for real?  Is he safe? Will I miss my light?  Wow, what a shame. What can I quickly give him, safely?  Will the people behind me judge me foolish… or a saint?  What would Jesus have me do?  The light changes and you press on with thoughts of indecision, perhaps remorse mixed with anger and frustration for perhaps missing an opportunity or simply not knowing how to respond.  We mollify our conscience with thoughts of “He ought to get a job” or “There are agencies that I support that deal with the homeless, etc.”.    Here’s one response which I’ve used in similar circumstances which the Holy Spirit has inspired me to do.  It requires just a little advanced preparation, but you can even use that time as an object lesson for your children or grandchildren if you enlist their help.  My wife and I assemble small “care packages” consisting of: a nutrition bar, a community services 2-1-1 card, two small Bible tracts (“How to Have Peace with God” and “Hope for Hard Times”) and a few one dollar bills or a McDonalds gift card.  We put the contents in a see through one gallon zip lock freezer bag.  As I hand the package to the transient, I look them intently in the eye, time permitting, and ask if there is anything in specific I can pray for them.  Otherwise, I just smile and say “God loves you, brother!”  As Jesus also says, we are to be as “gentle as doves, but also as wise as serpents.”   Don’t risk life and limb if something doesn’t feel right about the situation.  If unsure, you can always just toss the bag to the side of the road and yell out “God bless!”  Sure, he may be a scam artist, but if just 1 out of 10 has a genuine need (and don’t we ALL have a need for Christ?), I figure it’s worth my effort and God will bless it.  And just maybe I did it unto Jesus.

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