Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Alms

I was driving, exiting the freeway. There's this man, holding a sign, I drive somewhat past him and notice that he looked beyond me as I came to a stop. I remembered for a moment that I had cash, this man was asking for alms.

"Was it in the back pocket... or in my wallet? Where did I keep it?" Quickly, quickly, I lifted myself up from my seat and pulled out a receipt and the five dollars I had remembered I had. I opened my window fully and raised my voice and said, "Hey there!" With the bill clasped within my three fingers, it seemed that the light was going to turn soon. The man looked over at me, started walking toward my car and his long frizzy hair somewhat drifted in the wind. I felt the coarse skin of his fingers as they grazed mine as he reached over. An audible, "God Bless You," came from his mouth. I replied, "God bless you too!" He stopped, and looked at the five dollar bill.

He shuffled, hessitated and came back toward me. I stared at him with a curiosity as he did not go back immediately to his spot. The intensity of how he said the following things he said baffles me, in it's sincerity and utter provocation of life and gratitude. He said,

"I don't know how you young guys do it... this. But, if I were younger, I would not have done the same thing. Thank you."

It came to mind the morality I try to live my life in, whether or not it is ethical to give someone money rather than equipping them to get a job. Did I enable him to be poor, or encourage him that there's hope? I understand that homelessness isn't the problem, but love. I gave him money because for a moment there... I cared.

I don't understand how God works, but that shook my heart. I'm already troubled already with many things, but in this light, I feel and know that there was something there. I don't know what God means when He shows me something like this. I'm short sighted compared to His ultimate plan. God knows.