It doesn’t take long.
Drive around Akron for just a few minutes and you will quickly see.
Pretty much on every other street corner.
Almost every exit ramp off of Route 8.
Men. Women. The homeless.
They are there.
Asking for help.
Most of the signs are a simple statement asking for help.
“Homeless veteran, waiting on SSI, anything will help.”
“Sober dad with family. Anything helps.”
“Hungry children. God bless you.”
“Not an addict. Can you help me?”
“I’m responsible. Need work.”
Break down the statements, and there is a recurring theme.
A declaration of ‘who they are.’
A statement of need.
Anything will help
Not an addict
We were out as a family one day and stopped at one of those infamous intersections. From the back of the van one of our sons yells forward, “Are there any water bottles up there that I can give this guy?”
Our other son pontificates that the majority of evangelical Christians don’t give money to homeless people because they are afraid that they will use it for drugs or some other illicit behavior.
And then the conversation got REAL.
The son that asked for the bottle of water declares that it doesn’t matter what they are going to do with the money, we are supposed to love people and ‘plant seeds.’
My wife – the mother of these 2 boys who were concerned about the homeless man – tells us about her friend that carries around packages in her car for these exact situations.
Packages filled with:
A few dollars
That got all of us thinking – what kind of seeds are we planting?
How are we tangibly loving the poor among us?
Jesus tells us that we will have the poor with us always.
The homeless person that you give that money to just might go purchase drugs.
The package that you give them may be sold to someone for alcohol.
The homeless mother that you give those few dollars to might take that money and buy her children the only hot meal that they will have that day.
The man may take that package of goods that you gave him and clean up and find his way to a church somewhere where people love him to Jesus.
Reality? – we don’t know what they will do with the things that we show the love of Jesus with.
Reality? – Jesus didn’t ask us to make sure that they spend our money wisely or that they use the packages that we give them for good.
“He (God) will give the increase.”
Follow your heart.
Love your city to life.