Many times on my walk to work, I pass the same homeless person who asks for money. This person is obviously in dire straits, and may suffer from a mental disorder. Sometimes, I will stop and give whatever spare change I happen to have in my pocket.
I have to admit that some mornings I purposely avoid eye contact and hope I am not asked for money. Whether I give or not, the familiar words of Jesus go through 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” (Mt 25:35).
When I give money, I feel wonderful, and think, wow, God will remember that when I get up to heaven. When I don’t, however, I wonder – am I denying Jesus food and water each time I pass this person and leave them empty handed? I know there are charities that assist the homeless, but will they reach this one particular person that I could reach and help every day?
It makes me wonder and think about the often-quoted and possibly overused phrase – what would Jesus do?