It's easy to help people who measure up to your standard of who needs help.
Jesus was a guy who was homeless during his life. The Bible says; "He had no place to lay his head." My wife and I went for a walk this morning and witnessed many people at work; window washers, the movers, doctors, nurses, maintenance guys and many more. We picked up about nineteen cents off the ground as we walked.
Understanding the life of another human being often requires that we walk in their shoes or God can confront us in other ways. After making our way through the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, we headed home. We spotted another young man hard at work - a street corner beggar. I usually pass them when I'm driving and my indignation grows as I pass them by.
Daily, there are people begging on the streets of Buffalo. "Why don't they get a job?" "They probably use the money for drugs or drinking!" My self-righteous and haughty thoughts rise up faster than a soda bottle that's all shook up. Why do they bug me so much? Why do I feel guilty when I pass them by?
God has a subtle way of correcting our bad behavior. This morning I was confronted with my own pride as we approached the man with the cardboard sign on the street corner. I knew he was begging and I had just found a few coins as we walked. I felt the urge to give it to him. But what the heck would I say?
Employers usually don't like to hire felons. I gave the young man the coins that we found on the street and asked him why he was here begging instead of working. He explained that he was a felon who just got out of jail and was waiting for his "Papers." He was staying at a shelter up the street. He seemed like he was telling the truth. (Another judgment on my part." I asked him if he would ever like to work with inner-city young men. He said that might not be a good idea because he had been addicted to drugs. After explaining how our Basketball With A Purpose (BWAP) program works with guys playing basketball, listening to 9 Minute Guest Speakers and sharing a meal - he was interested. He took down my number and I told him I would pick him up on Thursday if he wanted to go.
Everybody we meet has been placed in our path by God to help us grow closer to Him. By judging people and keeping a safe distance away, I'm only distancing myself from God. I'm still a chasm away from who I should be in unity with God, but today I was less than a stone's throw away from removing the speck of pride in my own eye. God helped add something good to my #LIFETICKET today.
If you would like to learn more about how we strengthen communities by investing in young men, please consider joining us for lunch on April 28, 2016.
Thanks for your time. Go and help somebody who you may not understand.