I have a proposition. All you need is one dollar. Of course if you prefer five or twenty dollars, that is okay too.
SURPRISING FACTS YOU LEARN AT FUNERALS
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
DON’T MISS THE ONE
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
CAN YOU SPARE A FEW BUCKS?
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
THE MEL CHALLENGE
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
SPREAD THE WORD
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