The Rabbi told us, “You will always have the poor among you, … (Mark 1:47)” A lot of these “poor” come to our church looking for help. My new office sits right by the lobby where our church secretary talks, discerns and makes the decision if these people will receive help (she does a good job BTW).
Can we talk? It’s hard for this bleeding heart to watch them come and go regardless if they are telling the truth or if benevolence was given.
It’s hard for me to sit and listen to the conversations while my Mini Cooper convertible sits right outside my office window. It’s hard for me to sit and listen when I’m about to walk over to the post office and see what Amazon Prime has brought us today. It’s hard for me when my biggest first world problems is, “Where are we going for lunch?”
One of our deacons who is as sensitive as I am recently told me, “If we gave to everyone who asked we would be sitting on the street corner with a sign ourselves.” I get that and he's right in a lot of ways but, is it okay if my heart still hurts?
There are some red letters in my Bible that say, “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you (Matthew 5:42).” What if Jesus meant what He said? I love it when God makes it simple. We don’t qualify those who ask, in other words, if they smell like smoke we don’t ask them why they spent their money on cigarettes, we just give to them. It doesn’t matter if they are a member of a church, we just give to them. Yeah, but preacher what if they use the money for alcohol or drugs? I don’t know, what if they do? I’m not their mother, I’m just supposed to give to the one who asks.
Listen, I’m not suggesting we are to be poor stewards of God’s money, I’m just asking, what if we did what God said to do?
They will always be here, the question is how do we respond to them. He told me to tell you that.
Ken Ansell currently serves as a pastor and local missionary in small, rural Texas community. He plays lots of tennis and fly fishes when he can. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org