Mel would like the challenge

I have a proposition.  All you need is one dollar.  Of course if you prefer five or twenty dollars, that is okay too.


I learned she painted, I never knew before.  I had no idea he played in a band.  He was generous, but he kept it private.  He tap danced, actually I knew about that. We know people in a particular capacity, but it seems there are deeper layers..  Often hidden bits of their lives are shared at funerals.

Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” KJV


My friend Mel died on the fourth of July during the worst summer of my life. Days earlier, I was discharged from my first hospitalization with myasthenia gravis.  Mel’s son shared the following story at his funeral:  My dad always gave money to panhandlers.  Everyone knows it is a scam.  So one day when he stuffed a wad of cash into the hands of an unkempt man at a gas station, I chastised him.  “Don’t you know he will probably use the money for cigarettes, alcohol or drugs?”  My dad was not naïve or stupid.  He grinned and gently replied, “I figure nine out of ten people who ask for money are bogus, but I don’t want to miss the one God sent for me to help.”

Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”  NIV


My daughter recently handed cash to a woman at the grocery store who claimed to have fled an abusive husband, she had a two year old with her.  Maybe it was a lie, maybe not.  Only God and the woman know.  It is her responsibility to answer for what she does with the money.  What I do with people like her is mine.

Matthew 10:42, “And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” ESV


If I hand a five dollar bill to a man on the roadside with a sign, I won’t miss it.  It won’t cause me to sacrifice a meal, or a new pair of shoes or even a cup of coffee.  He may spend it frivolously, but it won’t hurt me.  Who knows, it might help him.  What happened to compassion?  Have we become so cynical we can ignore real need?

Luke 3:11, “He answered them, ‘He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none.  He who has food, let him do likewise.’” WEB


Experts recommend not helping people this way because it does more harm than good.  Maybe.  But maybe the real harm in not helping the down-and-out is the callous that grows on our own heart.  Maybe the one hurt most is not the one in need, but the one with abundance.

James 2:15, “If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it?” HCSB


I challenge you to invest one dollar this week.  Look around for someone in need, look them in the eye and pass it on.  If it makes you more comfortable buy a care package or a meal, but do something.  Don’t look away.

Proverbs 22:9, “Generous hands are blessed hands because they give bread to the poor.” MSG


Do it for Mel.

Do it for Jesus.

Share your story.

Matthew 25:40, ” And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” NLT


  1. I loved this! I have a handful of times stopped and gave to a person on the side of the road! Of course my family and friends thought I was crazy and told me it was so dangerous! But the look in the eye of the one man I handed $5 to one day is engrained in my mind! A look of fear, regret, shame and thankfulness all in one! I have always been of the mindset I am doing this out of love, compassion and obedience and once it leaves my hands it’s no longer mine! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. My sister just returned from Haiti on a mission trip. She was measuring children’s feet for needed shoes. One child had one sneaker and one flip flop. She said the hardest part was trying to put shoes back on after measuring many because they were so tight. I commented how sad that was. She reminded me there are plenty poor situations here in the U.S. I think we often don’t see it. I hope to be looking to see what I can “run into” to help this week. Thanks for the reminder that we can make a small difference but big to the recipient.

  3. I love when those thoughts crosses my mind by helping the car behind me in the drive thru line. Or Helping the person in front of me at the store who is just a few dollars short on their total bill…. If we did this more often, we would show Gods love in our lives ….
    Thanks for sharing ….

  4. When I lost Mike after a long battle with cancer, I was too overcome with grief to even fill out thank you cards. So many people helped me and my girls. None of it went unnoticed.. I vowed to spread that kindness for the rest of my life, with a meal, a card, a call, money, anything I can do..small acts of kindness mean the biggest things sometimes.. I was re-inspired by Mel.. I am coming up on the one year anniversary of his death in May. I hope he is proud and honored of some things we have done. But I am nowhere near finished… I Just getting started … Thank you so much Vickie! Love and prayers always !

  5. Vickie, you cannot know how your words inspire us and bring laughter, tears, and the TRUTH…:) I have been new to your blog for the last couple weeks, but your words “move” me and provoke thought…and humanity… What a beautiful purpose you have…I’ve admired you for years and the wonderful service you provided to women all these years as an ob/gyn, and now to see you channel that same kindness into words for our very souls is extraordinary to me. You have transitioned into what I think your most important role now…inspiring people with your stories, your words…Thank you, and I look forward to reading more… thinking of you

  6. My family have many fond memories of Mel. He was a very nice man. I loved the story. I had the opportunity to pay for a young couples groceries when their debit card won’t work. I remember seeing you at the visitation and just saying hi. You didn’t seem yourself but again it was a visitation. I found out shortly afterwards about your health issues. I regret that I didn’t take a moment to visit with you. I pray for you and see God working through you. You are a mighty servant and you are definitely reaching people with your inspirational writings. Keep it up!

  7. Although I am a huge crier at funerals, I also love to go to funerals to discover the “layers” that I never knew about. I always leave smiling at the talents people had that I never knew about.

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