Help the Helpless
“God blesses those who are kind to the poor and helpless. He helps them out of their own troubles. He protects them and keeps them alive; He publicly honors them and destroys the power of their enemies.” (Psalm 41:1-2 TLB)
RAMBLINGS from Evan’s dad – Numerous times growing up I recall my parents taking food to someone even less fortunate then we were. I remember walking in their houses and being taken back at how sparse their conditions were compared to ours.
Having that modeled in my formative years, in my adult life I have had countless opportunities to do the same thing. I wish I could say I always acted on them, but I didn’t. I guess I got disillusioned along the way. I remember once while living in Augusta driving by a guy with a sign that said “will work for food”. I went down the street and bought him a bag of groceries. I came back, pulled over, and proudly presented the bounty to him. Shock came over my face as he angrily told me he didn’t need that food, he just needed the money. I left the disgruntled man, with the bag of groceries still in my car.
Several years later I was in downtown Atlanta with Kris, newly married, and leaving church. A lady came up to us at a traffic light, asking for money so she could get a bus ticket to Kentucky. We gave her some money, and said “God bless you” as we drove off. Two weeks later Kris and I pulled up to a traffic light in Roswell, 15 miles north of Atlanta. I was disappointed to see that same lady walk by us with a sign saying, “need bus fare to Ohio”.
For a long time after that, I was skeptical on giving money, other than to the church. Satan used every opportunity that came along to discourage me.
One morning while meeting with Dr. Jim, I discussed my quandary with him regarding giving to those in need. I told him I did not want to be taken advantage of. He told me when the opportunity came along, he gave to them, honoring God’s commandment about taking care of the poor and needy. It was up to them how they used it. That was a real paradigm shift for me after my previous experiences.
Sadly, back in the 60’s “the Church” let government take over many of the duties that once were performed only by the church. In days past, the church took care of the needy. We clothed them and fed them. They saw Jesus being lived out by our actions. They saw Jesus, through the compassion they saw, in our eyes. But now, many times those less fortunate can simply turn to the impersonal government and never experience the love of Jesus Christ. Sadly, they are never exposed to having their spiritual needs met while their physical or financial needs are being met.
Recently our church had a big drive where we went out into the community to do numerous projects helping those who needed help. It was so rewarding to be able to watch our family and others be the hands and feet of Christ. Some went and fed and clothed those living under bridges in Atlanta. Others ministered to those living in low-income housing. Others went to nursing homes, while still others worked at a crisis pregnancy center and a drug rehab facility. All of the volunteers said they were blessed doing God’s work.
I guess the bottom line is that when Jesus commanded us to give to the needy, it was not just about their needs, but also ours…
“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’. (Acts 20:35)