Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Gift of Compassion

Today I drove by a homeless man. It happens often, but today was different. This man, to the depths of his soul looked so...sad. His sign read, "Hungry, Homeless". I thought about how I have never had a moment in my life when I didn't know where my next meal was coming from. How I have never really experienced true hunger. I tried to stop to give him one of the bags I keep in my car for homeless people, but traffic was too rushed... always rushed. I waved and tried to smile, thinking at least I could give him that, but still sadness filled his face. And my heart ached for him. I looked around my car. Me driving in my nearly new mini-van, air conditioning blowing, music playing, kids laughing, hot burritos to fill their bellies, and amazing sushi for mine. Me who just came from a store to pick a two hundred dollar counter topper for our newly remodeled bathroom. And I didn't stop.

What is Christianity without action? What is love without giving of yourself? How will I teach these children compassion if I myself show none in my actions? And so I turned the car around and drove back to that place where the man with no home stood. I found a spot to park close by and gathered the food in my car and a bag full of hygiene products and snacks and made my way towards him. As he grabbed the things that filled my hands, he said,  "thank you kindly" and turned back to his corner. But not before giving me a quick smile, which is more than I could ask for.

I know many people pass by homeless people without a second glance because, "they got themselves there" or "they will spend the money on liquor". But this man's story is not for me to judge, and when I give of my money or possessions it should be with a free heart. A heart that thanks God for all the gifts he has given me and begs to never become immune to those in need.

"Each one of them is Jesus in disguise" -Mother Theresa


  1. I give to the homeless when I can, too. I don't really care if they "got themselves there" or "spend their money on liquor". Somehow they got themselves in a situation where they are dependent on the goodness and compassion of others, so the littlest thing we can do is give them that. Sometimes people need help, and it is not up to us to judge. I'm not a christian but I fully agree with you.

  2. The only part of this post I didn't love is the part where maybe you got sushi without me. Busted!