The hardest part is that most people feel like they want to do something, but we don’t know what to do. Regardless of what’s on the sign, when we see a beggar, we see a story……and a story that needs to be told. There’s not enough time at a busy intersection to ask questions, so people can either pull over and talk, or they can continue to flow with the traffic. There’s nothing like a beggar in the most obvious locations to force us to engage with the issue.
America is the most wealthy and generous Country in history. We are so wealthy, we get asked for money all the time. Most of us who shop are routinely asked if we want to donate so some cause. Yet, even with all our benevolent efforts, it seems like the problem is getting bigger everyday.
There’s always more to the story. Unless you park your car and walk over to the beggar, there’s no time to hear the story that precipitated them begging on a street corner. Sometimes they put, “Veteran”,”Pregnant” or “Hungry” on their signs to elicit a more generous response, but it is impossible to verify if this is true and often it is not. We cannot even assume all of them are homeless. Guaranteed, if a woman is pregnant, she didn’t get that way on her own. If her sign is true, there’s a man who needs to be the one to keep the roof over her head. Without a conversation, we don’t know what’s causing this problem. Without understanding the cause, we cannot know the solution.
Begging is an act of desperation. It pulls on our heartstrings, wondering what we would do if we were in that same situation. What happened to bring this person to the point where he or she thought this was the only answer? Clearly, we cannot solve the problem by throwing money at it. We all would like to eliminate poverty, but we would be wise to ask questions. Begging is a symptom. The cure can’t be found until we can identify the root problem.
Jesus said we will always have the poor among us, so if the goal is to eradicate poverty, that will never happen. What are we supposed to do? In the Bible we hear a story of how Peter handled it. He said, “I don’t have any silver and gold for you, but I’ll give you what I have.” The beggar was healed. Isn’t that better anyway?
What do you do when you see a beggar?
WHAT YOU CAN DO…
1.) Listen to our podcast with the president of Pacific Garden Mission and be inspired by his insights. We need to know the right answers to solve this problem.
You can find our latest podcast here.
2.) If you want to help the homeless, find an organization that is addressing the root issues and donate to it. Research what Pacific Garden is doing to make a difference here:
3.) Be inspired by others who tell their stories on the show, “Unshackled”. You can hear about changed lives here:
4.) The Home Front newsletter and podcast continues. Your involvement to fund our ongoing efforts, research and equipment will make a difference. If you want to continue to support us in this effort to promote integrity in government, you can mail your check to this address:
840 Satinwood Place
Crestwood, MO 63126
HOME FRONT PODCAST
Have you ever sat at a red light and watched someone standing in front of you with a cardboard sign saying, “Veteran” or “Pregnant” and wondered what you’re supposed to do? On today’s show we visit with Paul Kwiatkowski, President of Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, Illinois, the oldest homeless shelter in the Country.
A LITTLE BIT OF HUMOR