Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Simple Truth

I like simple things. Simple things make me feel smart. I can wrap my mind around simple things. Sometimes I take something simple and complicate it to death. That's unfortunate.

We recently dined at Olive Garden (only the finest for us) with some friends and were finishing up our conversation out in the parking lot when a homeless man rolled up on his bike and asked for money.

What do you do in that situation? Here's what I used to do: I make a judgement call based on his appearance; I check his attitude; I look for cigarettes (i mean, if you can buy smokes then you don't need my money); I look and smell for liquor (see previous comment). How about you? Ever done that? When I lived in Nashville this was practically daily routine as a bellman in a downtown hotel. I was an expert at weeding out the "good" from the "bad." I knew all the eloquent speeches and hard luck stories: "Sir, I'm an ex-Marine and I do not do drugs;" "Excuse me sir, I need money to buy medicine;" "My car broke down around the corner and I just need some gas money," etc.

We shook his hand. We chatted with him. And, as you would assume, i could smell liquor on his breath. We prayed with him. We each gave him a few bucks. He left.

Old Me: don't give cash to a man who wreaks of liquor, the right thing to do is to buy him food so he cant blow it on booze

New Me: when led by the Spirit to give money to a man that wreaks of booze, give him money and don't question it

My responsibility is to listen to the Spirit within me and be obedient to that. My responsibility is not to judge this guy based on my assumptions about his lifestyle. So when I give in obedience - through faith - that pleases God. The bible says this: "faith pleases God." I'm held accountable for my end of obedience and he is held accountable for how he uses that money when it enters his hands.

So aggressively look for opportunities to love other people. And don't worry with self-made rules, policies and procedures. Embrace the simple truth - just be obedient. It's a soft pillow.


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