And sometimes God is silent, choosing to let us work things out for ourselves.
I drove my son back to college this morning. We got an early start so I didn’t eat breakfast. After dropping him off, I headed back toward the main drag where there were plenty of choices to get some food. I happened to pick Whole Foods, feeling like I should choose wisely after binging on chocolate the day before.
As I pulled out of the parking lot, I was confronted with the same homeless man that I saw last week, which I wrote about in The Ugly Truth. And the same questions came to mind as to whether I should get involved. Only this time, I had the added pressure of feeling like God was testing me by offering me another chance to do the right thing.
As I looked at the man I thought that he seemed harmless. Looking rather like a lost puppy standing in the street with his cardboard sign. I didn’t feel like he was a threat, but just then I thought back to when I was 17. I was on my way to work and my car broke down. Standing helplessly on the side of the road, a nice man pulled over to offer his assistance. He was very kind, probably about 10 years older than me, and offered me a ride to work. I gratefully hopped into his car, and made it to my job on time.
Feeling rather pleased with myself that I still managed to get to work, I called my parents to inform them about the car, still sitting on the side of the road. When they asked me how I got to work, well, let’s just say I had to pull the phone far away from my ear. I don’t remember the conversation word for word, but I do remember something about having no brain in my head, what was I thinking, and where was my common sense. Oops. Not that I blame them, though. If my own daughter got into a car with a strange man, she would hear that and then some.
So keeping in mind that perhaps common sense isn’t my strong suit, I still considered that doing something was better than nothing. And if I offered him some money, what could happen? I followed that thought to two possible outcomes, visualizing the headlines in the morning paper as this:
Random Act of Kindness Inspires Homeless Man to Change His Life or
Serial Killer Posing as Homeless Man Claims Next Victim.
Suddenly the man looked less like a puppy and more like Hannibal Lecter. So once again, I drove past with my window tightly shut and decided to pray instead. First for the homeless man, and second for me. I asked God to please make it clear to me if this was a lesson in kindness and generosity or a lesson in common sense.
I’m still waiting for an answer…