To be honest, it really used to chap my hide! While I can drive past people holding cardboard signs asking for help, my wife and daughter don’t seem to have that same ability – especially if there’s an entire family seeking help. If they’re able, they stop and help. A lot!
While we agree that giving cash is not wise, we also agree that lending some level of assistance is warranted at times. So, on more than one occasion my wife has been known to take a struggling family into a local grocery store and stock them up with food. If there’s a baby involved, diapers will be purchased, as will a baby toy, etc. If the family has been sleeping in a van, she’s taken them to a local hotel and paid for one night so they can shower and sleep in a bed.
As I said, her “extravagance” used to upset me. After all, how can we be sure their “story” is legit? Truth is, we can’t always know, and there is a risk of getting “taken.” But that’s between them and God. Now, please understand that I’m not advocating everyone do as we do in these situations; and if you do, you need to be wise and cautious about your safety, etc. But, the point I wish to make today is that every time my wife has chosen to bless the “least of these,” our family has in turn been blessed in ways we’d never expected.
It’s almost like God was serious when He said, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered” (Proverb 11:25). 🙂
Believe me, my wife never considers what might be “in it for her” when she extends a kindness to others. But, there’s no denying that when we give, God has given in return. When we shovel it out, God shovels it back in – and He has a much bigger shovel than we do! We just can’t out-give God.
In what ways might you be “a watering can” for others? –Dave
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