Passing Along A Great Idea

It happens more often in the winter. Leaving Target or the grocery store with the back of my car loaded with groceries and other items I need, or more likely don’t, I stop at a red light to see a man standing there with a cardboard sign that reads – Homeless Need Help.

My heart goes out to the man and I want to help, but I don’t want to invite a stranger over to my car and hand him cash. Mostly because I’ve just spent all my money and partly because I’m not convinced cash is the way to help, but still I hear Jesus’ words in my mind:

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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Matthew 25:35-40 NIV).

Driving away from the man, I know I’ve failed to follow Jesus’ words, and I pray for forgiveness and for Him to show me how I can help those in need. He answered my prayer today in a blog post that I’d like to share with you – Be A Blessing – Blessing Bags .

I look forward to putting a few of these bags together with my daughter’s help. I don’t know if I’ll include a Bible, unless I can get a donation like this blogger did or find a good deal. Helping in the smallest way, is still helping and I’m so grateful for answered prayers!

How do you respond to those asking for help at traffic lights? Is it safe to invite them over to your car to hand them a bag? I watch a lot of crime shows and imagine danger in the simplest of situations.

5 thoughts on “Passing Along A Great Idea

  1. This is such a great idea! I’m with you in being a little afraid of stopping for strangers, but stopping to give the bag would be the same no? How will you hand it to them? I would love to do the same, I’m just really apprehensive even in traffic lights. I grew up in a place where you’d hear stories of someone pulling a gun to rob you if you stopped too long at the light. I never know how to help or what to do when I see men at traffic lights asking for help.

  2. This is a tough situation for me too. I don’t like the situation much, but I have both given money and a blessing bag in a couple of different situations. For me, I look at the intersection, say a prayer, and then decide. If the homeless man or woman is right next to the car anyway and the intersection is jam-packed with plenty of other cars (witnesses), I open the windown and beckon. The blessing bag idea is definitely the best way. A little food, a little prayer, verse, or Bible is better than just money . . . although again, sometimes a dollar is ok too. A friend of mine likes to give out a blessing bag with an address or phone number for a food bank or homeless shelter tucked in . . .

  3. Yes, this is tough. I have not stopped for the men with signs, though it breaks my heart. I have stopped for different ladies. One fell on ice and we drove her to the library (her destination). One was pushing a baby stroller laden with possessions. She was moving across town, one stroller load at a time. I loaded her up and drove her to her new apartment. I was nervous, but it was good and I hugged her as we said goodbye.

    I wish there was an easy answer. It’s clear what Jesus says, but then we want to be smart and safe. The book I’m reading right now, Betrayed, has a theme running through it from the Bible that would apply here, I think. Do what is right. Do not give way to fear.

    Hmmmm….

  4. Funny, I literally just saw a post about this on Facebook! One friend said she stocks up on granola bars for her purse or car and hands those out.

    As far as safety, I would roll down the window in a well lit area where there are people around, but be wary at night or in a vacant area. I would have been more likely to roll down the window even at night before being a mom (just enough to pass something through the crack of the window) but now that I have kids to think about I weigh the risks more.

    I’ve been purchasing grocery store gift cards for homeless people askind for food outside of stores. I’ll just buy a water and a $10 gift card and hand it to them on my way out. I never have cash, and I would rather give a card than food that may be too rich for an unfed stomach, so they can pick what they want. That would be quite expensive though compared to my friend’s granola bar plan if I were to do it at lights or on a more regular basis.

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