There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Ugly Truth

“Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”  -  Matthew 25:44-45

For 40 days I have written about my questions about my faith, about God, about what I believe.  Coming to some conclusions about myself that have left me feeling like I have it all figured out.  Until God decided to challenge me even more…

Yesterday, while driving home from my son’s game, I passed a man standing in the middle of the road in the median at a traffic light.  He held up a cardboard sign.  I passed him twice yesterday, once on the other side of the road, and a second time on my side. 

The first time he was “over there” so I didn’t give him much thought, other than to feel sorry for him as he was most likely homeless.  The second time I felt more uncomfortable.  Now I had a decision to make.  Do I roll down my window and give him some money?  Or do what all the other cars around me did and pass right by.

This is where the struggle with my faith lies.

The closer my car inched toward this man, the more nervous I got.  I wanted to do the “Christian” thing.  I wanted to do what Jesus taught when he preached about “the least of these.”  But I was scared.  I didn’t know this man, or his intentions.  What if I held some money out and he grabbed my arm?  What if he had a gun under that large overcoat he was wearing?

Surely Jesus didn’t mean that I should put my own life at risk, did he? After all, there were no such things as carjackings in Jesus’ day.   And I have a family to take care of. If something happened to me, who would care for them?  (perhaps I am overdramatizing, but these thoughts do go through my head when faced with the idea of approaching a stranger.)

The bottom line is I can go to church every Sunday, and attend my Bible studies, write my check for the offering, pray for others, talk about my walk with God and how he’s working in my life and how he has blessed me, guided me, watched over me, but at the end of the day, I kept my window rolled up.


  1. These situations are tough. I think there are times you will feel a definite tug at your heart to help someone but other times you just can't and sadly, that's life. :( It's overwhelming and while I do believe we need to help others, sometimes you simply can't help everyone. I also think if a situation has the potential for danger, you are under no obligation.

    But it's such a tough call. I help some people and some I don't. There's only one person I've noticed and didn't help that has always stayed with me (I mean I haven't helped many people but only one I feel guilty about). I wrote a post about it called "The Old Lady on the Steps"...for some reason, I know I failed by not helping that lady....but why her and not the multitude of others I haven't given money to? It's a mystery...but now I've gone and made this about myself when all I wanted to say really was I hear you. I wish it weren't so complicated.

    Have a great day Deborah.

  2. haha, i love your comments "now I have gone and made this about myself" that's the point of the comment section, to share your thoughts on what I wrote. I always appreciate that you have something to share. I am heading over to read that post you mentioned. Perhaps I can offer some insight as to why that lady stuck with you. If not, I will just comment about myself :)

  3. Even though it was a frustrating decision that you had to make, I know you made the right one. You had to do the right thing for your family's welfare. Like you said, there were no carjackings in Jesus' day. I would want my wife to pass him by, as well. There is one thing I can think of you could have done. don't know if anything positive would have come from it- and that would be to call 911 on a cell phone, if you have one, to get him some help. I just thought of that. Anyway, thanks for coming over to my site. Take care, Deborah.

  4. Deb - I didn't say it in my post, but you inspire me because you hit a similar crossroads as my mom and your choice of path is incredible. I've given you an award - I'd love for you to come claim it.

  5. Annabelle, that is so sweet!! Thank you! :)