The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
After posting yesterday, I quickly set about cleaning up our thermos. At that moment it occurred to me that we didn’t have any milk. I had spoken to my husband the evening before about needing to pick up milk for Our grandson. How would I make hot cocoa without milk? I searched the pantry for dry hot cocoa packets. Having found none, I paused for a moment to make a cup of coffee. That’s when I saw some k-cups of hot cocoa pushed to the back of the shelf. So, I began filling the thermos. Then, I packed up my car and headed out.
In my type of work it’s easy to know where to find those in need of assistance. I’ve seen people living in deplorable conditions, and every year at Christmas I’m reminded of how blessed I truly am. I’ve done the best I could to eliminate the worst dilapidated buildings in town and provide opportunities for affordable housing, but realize at the same time some of the worst buildings provide shelter from the elements for people who are down and out. So, I figure it won’t be so difficult to help someone. I found the opposite to be true.
There was little traffic. I drove from one place to another, and didn’t see as much as a construction worker or police officer to warm up. I drove by the churches and other locations where the down-trodden go for assistance. I drove behind shopping centers and grocery stores, but I couldn’t find anyone to help. Then, I drove up on an area of town where a group of men hang out. There were two or three out there smoking, huddled by a fire. I stopped, rolled down my window and reached for the thermos, which had rolled under the passenger seat in my car. One of the men came over to me. He called me by name. I didn’t know him personally, but had driven by many times. I handed him thermos and simply said, “I see ya’ll out here when I drive by, and thought you might enjoy some hot cocoa this morning.” He replied, “yes we could” as he leaned in the window and checked out my car. With those words I was stunned by the stench of alcohol from his breath at 7:30 in the morning. I wished him a good day and drove away. Then, when I turned the corner, I saw a homeless person walking on the sidewalk.
So, what can be learned from my experience? Trust God, but use common sense and don’t put your life in unnecessary danger. Was I in danger? I don’t think so, but I feel like I need to remind you to be cautious. As I reached down to pickup the thermos in the car, I realized that one action could have been confused with reaching for a weapon, which wasn’t very smart. Second, trust God. When I saw the homeless person, I questioned whether I helped the right one. Remember, I said I couldn’t find anyone to help. God clearly led me there. I think the homeless person was just a reminder that there are many who need different types of assistance. Which brings me to number three. Helping others isn’t for just one day in your life. Finally, be careful not to complain or brag about your actions. Jesus taught in Matthew 6:3, to keep the amount of your giving between you and God.
I hope you have a wonderful Saturday. Please share your experiences and keep blessing those around you. God bless you.