If you are like me, you are never quite sure what to do when you see people begging for work, spare change or food at an intersection. Especially, with my kids in the car, I’m somewhat ashamed to say that my first instinct is to lock the doors. I have the head of skeptic and a bleeding heart for those in need.
There are countless verses in the bible that talk of charity.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Matthew 25:35
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18
“He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.” Proverbs 14:21
But, I still struggle with the practical applications of this. I want to teach my children about kindness toward others and for them to understand how fortunate they are to desire for nothing significant (regardless of how crucial my 6 year old thinks a DS is). On our way into the grocery store one Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, I spotted a woman crouched under a blanket with a sign that said she had a family and they were hungry. While inside, we bought a large bag of apples and handed it to her on our way out of the parking lot. Sadly, I don’t believe she even thanked us for the contribution. Not that I did it for thanks or praise, but I don’t believe people should ever be ungrateful, no matter what their circumstances.
Unfortunately, there are those who pose as homeless, but are just out to scam us bleeding hearts because they are simply too lazy to work and those who are just begging for drug money. But, with the sad state of the economy, there are people who are in deep need right here in our own country. Families with children they cannot feed. Babies who go to sleep in the back of their cars or worse every night. If anyone has a secret formula that can be worked while at a red light to distinguish the schemers from the truly poor, please post it here.
Until then, I am excited to report that my church recently decided to take on a project found on Pinterest, that was posted originally on KWAV’s Blessing Bags How To blog. Basically, it is a gallon sized Ziploc bag filled with non-perishable foods and personal hygiene items that can be passed out the car window. The skeptic in me loves that there is nothing that could be used to buy drugs and the bleeding heart is encouraged that I was able to do something. A win-win situation!
I hope the project progresses well enough that I will be able to post Parts II and maybe even III, so keep checking back! If you would like to adopt this program for your church or group, post here and request a copy of the documents we are using to accomplish this.