By Diana Rockwell
My neighbor knocked at the door, graciously returning some money my son Dale had in his possession and had shared with their family. Dale was about six years old and this family was struggling to make ends meet. We don’t know how Dale knew his daddy had some money in his drawer, tucked away for a rainy day, but he decided to share. What do you do when you need the money just as bad?
The Lord said in Deuteronomy 15:11, “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”
My heart is conflicted when I see the homeless person at any intersection. Do you give them money? Most feel that you should not give the person money. I have assisted the homeless with gift cards, water bottles, and yes I have given money and food.
I have a book ministry where I give books away to women who can’t afford the book but want to participate in the study. Also, I have given Bibles away to women who have accepted the Lord.
I recently cleaned out my closet and gave some very nice clothes to the Good Will. Reaching out to others is the only way I know how to be the arms of Jesus, whether that is helping someone with their gas and electric bill or buying them a new bible.
What can you do to help the poor? Donations of food to the local food closet is an easy option. Serving at your church or in a soup kitchen is another area to think about. I was thinking of labeling water bottles with John 3:16 to give to the homeless and to have some gift cards so I am not tempted to give money that can be used to buy drugs. Another way to help the homeless is to be kind and smile at the person. Sometimes kindness can really make a person’s day. I have asked on my way into 7-11, “What can I buy you?” and usually a cup of coffee and a donut is the answer. Don’t be afraid to engage in conversation.
Dale shared that day. We ended up becoming really good friends with that family and shared many meals. Of course, there was a conversation about not getting into daddy’s drawers and a thank you to the man for returning the money. How can you be the arms of Jesus to the poor today?