Friday, August 18, 2006

A FILTHY MESS

This morning I stopped at the 7-11 where my Indian friend works. I was sitting in my car putting on my make-up when I noticed a man start searching through the trash can in front of me. He was pulling out bottles with one hand and had a plastic grocery bag that looked like it held his clothes, in the other. He left the bottles sitting on top of the hood of the can and moved on to another on the other side of the store.

I wondered what to do. He looked pretty bad, maybe he was homeless...should I offer to buy him something? If I give him some money, what if he uses it to buy booze? Then my heart stopped. What the heck was I doing???? Here I was sitting in a nice ride that someone gave me, heading to my nice job that I suspect is more charity than need.....and I am trying to figure out what to do? How come my heart just didn't default to compassion and action for a fellow human being, who for whatever reasons or personal choices, was reduced to digging through garbage to find a few bottles to buy whatever it was he was going to buy? You guys, I have been a Christ follower for 30 years....why do I still stop and make such a huge process out of just giving away something that costs me so little after I have been given so much? Why, after 30 years of being a Christ follower...do I still form some kind of judgement before I can get to the place where I just see a human being?

Since I didn't have any cash on me, I went into the back of my car and retrieved the few bags of bottles I had been saving up to return the next time I bought groceries. I laid them as gently as I could next to the trash can and whispered to the man who was digging through yet another garbage can..."May God bless you this day, my friend. Amen."

5 comments:

Becky said...

what a beautiful thing you did. i have also thought that same thought my friend! you are not alone!


at least i'm in good company.

Sara said...

default to compassion...enough said.

tina fabulous said...

i'm happy to know theres someone else who gives their pop bottles to bottle-seeking hobos!

Margie said...

whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me.

Peta said...

great job!! :)

I agree, you're not alone. I'm in Prague very often and there are many homeless people.

Usually, I pass by the first time and then something comes to my mind and I come back and give them some money. I think the same way - what if they buy alcohol instead of food and necessary things? Sometimes I can just see that they try to cheat me. But, I always have on my mind what one woman said on a forum:

"Even if there are 10 people asking me for money and only one of them uses it for what he really needs, then for me, it's worth helping them."
This sentece comes to my mind EVERY single time. I never actually thought of buying food instead. Great idea, I'm gonna use that! :)