Our Advent got off to the most amazing start today! My family and I were heading home after spending Thanksgiving with my parents and visiting my grandparents, and we were on the off-ramp of an exit to get gas. We’re sitting at the light when I spot a panhandler. You know the type – scruffy beard, worn-out clothes, cardboard sign. He was working the section of the intersection to our left. I thought about the manna bag I had in the car that my older daughter had made in GAs, and I was feeling a bit frustrated that we had the means to help this guy out at least a little bit, but we’d be in the center turn lane getting back onto the interstate. Then God cut into this little moment of my history.
The light was longer than I’ve ever experienced before at this ramp. (Definitely a God thing!) I looked up, and this man was beginning to work the shoulder close to us. I said to Peter, “Quick! Get the manna bag and pass it to Mary.” Then I pushed the button to put Mary’s window down and said, “You’re up, sweetie.” She handed the bag to this beggar, he walked off, and I put the window back up. I asked her later how it felt doing that, and she said, “It felt good.” As for me, I felt some kind of good that I’ve never experienced before, and I decided that must be what it feels like when your “heart grows three sizes.”
I think doing this will always feel good, so there will be some unintentional reward in it for me, but that’s not why I’d want to keep doing it. We’re looking for other ways to help people on the cheap, and it’s even better if we can do it anonymously. What ideas do you have for helping the less fortunate?