She is hungry.
She needs money.
You feel this twinge of guilt in the pit of your stomach and know you should do something. But you don't know what. Voices from well-meaning friends echo in your mind:
"They'll only take your money and walk down to the liquor store and buy booze with it."
"You're only enabling them to continue in that lifestyle."
"You're not really helping."
So you ignore the feelings of compassion in your heart, pretend you don't see them and drive away. You did the right thing.
This has been my experience countless times. And I never leave feeling like I did the right thing. As a Christian, I am to imitate the One I am following: Christ. And it seems that every time I search the Bible for truth on how to handle this situation, not once does it say "Be careful that those in need don't take advantage of you! Don't let them fool you!"
On the contrary, it says:
"He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him." Proverbs 14:31
"But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?" 1 John 3:17
It seems that God commands His children to care for those who are in need and it is honoring to Him.
I was extremely convicted by this and wanted to do something about it. But I didn't just want to hand them money and say "Jesus loves you!" I wanted to really find a way to show them that not only do I care about them, but God does too.
So I looked up some ideas on Pinterest and came up with a solution! I would make "care packages" and give them to those people I see standing on the street corners.
That way they couldn't use it to buy alcohol or drugs, but their needs would still be met. And they might even be more open to hearing the gospel!
So here is what I put in my care package:
-tooth brush (which came with a plastic holder)
-a bar of soap
I place all of these items in a large ziplock and keep them in the console of my car. That way I have easy access to it when I see someone.
I got all of these items at Dollar Tree for around $5.50. I made 3 of these because several items came in packs of three. THRIFTY.
I tried to think of what I would want if I were homeless, and I would definitely want some items to help me feel clean! I added a Bible in there because while the rest of these items meet their immediate, temporal needs, their soul's need something eternal. Without the hope of salvation that comes through Christ, what do we have?!
So what do you think? Would you add any items to the list? What do you do when you see a homeless person asking for help?