Monday, August 20, 2007

The Dilemma

I had an interesting encounter on my way home tonight. As I approached one of the thousands of a red lights in Louisville I noticed that the car in front of me was being approached by a lady. I thought it rather odd that she walked out in the middle of the street to speak with the passenger. The conversation was brief and I knew I was next.

As she approached my car I took a deep breath and rolled down my window. A thousand things went through my head as I thought about what she might ask, or worse, do. I have heard stories and I've watched too many episodes of the evening news. Well, the woman began to frantically explain that she had run out of gas and needed help. She was asking for a few bucks for gas. There was an older gentleman with a cane standing on the side of the road. She asked if "in the name of Jesus" I could help her. I asked a few questions like where her car was located and if she had a gas can (all while waiting for the light to turn green). She pointed to a neighboring lot and explained that she had nothing to transport the gas. She needed help.

I thought to myself, "I really do what to help this woman in the name of Jesus. What do I do?" If I can be honest, I've been somewhat skeptical in the past. I know there are many in our community who have legitimate needs and yet quite a few who know how to work the system...and the naive.

Though she asked for a few bucks I thought the wise thing to do would be to accompany her to gas station and pay for the gas myself. So I offered to do so. It was then that it happened. She looked at me like I had a third eye and then calmly turned around without saying a word and walked back to the corner. Thinking it was a rather odd way to end the conversation I asked her again if she would like me to accompany her to gas station and she murmured, "No, that's okay."

She had been caught.

This only adds to my delimma. I want to help hurting people in the name of Jesus and yet there are so many that ruin it for the rest. Here's my resolution. I'm not going to let people like the one I encountered tonight alter my desire to help the down and out. I'm going to try my best to handle each situation independently and ask God for "on the spot" wisdom and discernment.

9 comments:

Mike said...

Sounds like you handled that one perfectly, just like the homeless vet on the side of the road, if they really are homeless a sandwich or a little work is what would help them most, unless they are just trying to ruin it for the truly needy and just get cash.

Anonymous said...

And I am going to pray to Jesus you don't let a stranger in your car. Give them $5.00 for gas to get them home so that you get home to your family too. If they spend it on drugs or booze, then they have to answer to the Lord.

Sandi said...

Good job Chad. Like Mike said, "you handled that perfectly!"

Jeremy Kane said...

been there many times and i think you did the right thing hannah I gave a ride to a lady monday to the gas station she had a 2 liter bottle and a gatoraide bottle she filled up and we took her back to her car it was a good conversation w/hannah about why we did that

Amy said...

It sounds like you did the right thing in that situation. I am always in a dilema about those types of situations as well. I never really know what to do...

violet said...

that happened too us only it was two men and a lady..we had gas in a can at home so we went back and got the gas then they followed us to gas station where stanley put 20.00 in their car...They had come up here from eastern Ky..looking for work.(the womens mother lived here in Falmouth) only they ran out of gas before they could get to the mothers home..i was just thankfull we could help....

Jen said...

YOU did the right thing.... in the name of Jesus.

Mara said...

I was attending one of those teacher conferences last school year and my buddies and I decided to grab a quick bite at Mickey D's and check out the Big Lots in Lexington (we are still mourning the loss of ours in Cynthiana.) While at McDonald's a man approached our table and asked for gas money. Just a few bucks, his girlfriend was at UK in the hospital and he had to get back to Eastern Kentucky and didn't have the money to get back. A couple of us gave him a few bucks then we finished our lunch and headed on to Big Lots. Guess who was there? You know it. The same guy, different pitiful story. If memory serves me he even asked one of my group again. Of course it was pointed out that we had already given him $ at McDonald's and he thanked us again and scurried away.

You know my family and that we have put ourselves out there to help people in ways that many find strange or excessive before. With each smack in the face that comes it becomes a little more difficult to put ourselves out there. Our faith in humanity lessens and becomes more difficult to hold on to. Oh, wait, that is the problem. Our faith is not to be in humanity, but in the Lord. I think if our heart is pure and our motives are to serve the Lord then our acts are worthwhile. It's not for us to water the plant, but only to sow the seed. I hold on to the idea that the seeds my family and I have sown will be watered by many, many other Godly people and our Lord will reap the harvest in his own time.

Miss you! Hope you are doing well!
Mara

Anonymous said...

"Always error on the side of mercy."