Making It Real

A collage of signs held by homeless people

The other day, as I was sitting in a line of cars waiting for the signal to change, I noticed a young woman standing at a corner with a sign, “Homeless Woman with 2 Children Need Help.” It was a very busy intersection, and I was fourth in line from the corner where she stood.

My first thought was to ignore her. Too far away. What if the light changes while I’m trying to get her attention and give her a dollar?

My second thought was, “That dress she has on is pretty skimpy and tight. Is this is for real?”

Then, I remembered the priest. And the Levite–the ones in Jesus’s story about the man left in the ditch by robbers (Luke 10:25-37).  And my sermon this past Sunday on that text, the one where I said, “GADL (Go And Do Likewise),” just as Jesus did.

I dug in my pocket, pulled out a bill, waved it a couple of times, rolled down the passenger-side window, and she came running. As the light changed, I handed her the money, and she blurted out, “Bless you, Sir!” I saw tears on her face. “Bless you, my sister,” I said in return.

There are all sorts of logical reasons not to give money to strangers. And they are all trumped by this one: love my neighbor as myself.