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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 

Don't We All?

I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come
from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work.

Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would
consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no
clean clothes, and no money.

There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that
you just don't want to be bothered. This was one of those "don't want
to be bothered times."

"I hope he doesn't ask me for any money," I thought. He didn't. He
came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop like he could have
enough money to even ride the bus.

After a few minutes he spoke. "That's a very pretty car," he said.

He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly
blond beard keep more than his face warm. I said, "thanks," and
continued wiping off my car.

He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never
came. As the silence between us widened something inside said, "ask
him if he needs any help." I was sure that he would say "yes" but I
held true to the inner voice.

"Do you need any help?" I asked. He answered in three simple but
profound words that I shall never forget. We often look for wisdom in
great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and
accomplishments. I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand.

He spoke the three words that shook me. "Don't we all?" he said. I
was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum in
the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge
shotgun. Don't we all?

I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I
needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for
bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day.

Those three little words still ring true. No matter how much you
have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No
matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with
problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help.
Even if it's just a compliment, you can give that.

You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all.

They are waiting on you to give them what they don't have. A
different perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a
respite from daily chaos, that only you through a torn world can see.

Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets.
Maybe he was more than that. Maybe he was sent by a power that is
great and wise, to minister to a soul too comfortable in themselves.
Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum, then
said, "go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help."

Don't we all?


-- Author Unknown

Josh, There will be some that will say never to give to those less fortunate because you never know what they will spend that money on. might be booze, might be crack. But, sometimes you just gotta give and let God deal with the rest. Great reminder, sometimes we forget what we ought to do! Thanks!

The paradox of wondering whether or not I'm having my charity tested by God or if I'm being tested for gullibility has always made me wonder.

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