Thursday, December 02, 2010

Can you spare any change?

Anyone who's spent any time in the city has been confronted with this question.  I've struggled for a while on how to respond to people on the streets asking me for money.  It feels like either way, I don't feel quite right.  When I give money, I wonder what the person will use it for (drugs, alcohol?).  When I say no, I feel guilty for not doing anything.  And when I just ignore them, I feel convicted of not even engaging the problem.  Is this really how Jesus would treat this person?  Is this how I would treat Jesus (Matthew 25)?  Shouldn't love and compassion overrule suspicion and guilt?  Arloa Sutter - a woman who is the executive director of Breakthrough Ministries in Chicago, and has years of experience actively engaging with those who are homeless - offers some great wisdom and insight into this issue in this article.  Check it out and be encouraged! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your article. In the street, dealing with poverty is not an easy job : give, not to give, or just pass your way, that is the question. And now, if we change the seat and we were a panhandler, what we could think about people who give, who not give or simply pass their way. Thanks again. I wish you a nice day and looking forward reading your words.