Saturday, August 28, 2010

Moral delima- what to do?

So in coming outside from King Soopers on our routine Saturday morning grocery shopping trip I saw a strange sight. There was a man, young man?, shirtless-shoeless-dirty-skin and bones, standing in the middle of the parking lot approaching people as they walked out. I lowered my head, avoided eye contact and was thankful for the couple ahead of me that would encounter him first so I could rush towards my car. This guy was not menacing, just dirty. In reaching my car I felt 3 things immediately: 1- relief since josh/abby/nehemiah were already in the car having run out of fun things to do in the grocery store while I was checking out, 2- safe that my husband was there, and 3- conviction. How horrible was I???? "when you have helped the least of these you have helped me...." rang in my ears as if God was shouting it in a microphone. Josh and I quietly discussed it.
  • Do we give him money? No he'll just buy alcohol. What if doesn't and just needs food? Aren't we supposed to just give with no strings attached? But do we really want to enable a bad habit?
  • Do we give him gift cards? Then at least he can eat right??? Or go buy shoes?
  • Do we buy him food? What does he eat? Should we take him grocery shopping? He doesn't have shoes let alone a bag to put stuff in?

So Josh went back in the store and bought some bread. Then when he came out we drove around the parking lot until we found the guy. It was then that I noticed the abrasions all over his body. AIDs? Cigarette burns? it was horrible. He was using a local starbucks patrons cell phone. Josh went up to him and I anxiously waited in my car trying to answer Abby's many questions "why doesn't he have any shoes?" "why doesn't he have a shirt?" "Why is daddy giving him bread?" "What are those marks on his body?" etc....Josh got back in the car and said he wasn't asking for food but a ride. ACK! My brain instantly shuttered. Josh gave him the bread. Got in the car. And we drove away. Now here I sit at the computer 14 hours later typing about this when I should be sleeping. I guess I'm still convicted...confused...ashamed...confused........."When you have done this for the least of these...."

Did we have room in our car- my brain said no, but honestly the answer was yes. Did I want that man, young man, dirty man, in my car with my three kids? No. Hell no. Did the guy look dangerous? No...just really dirty. Is it that I didn't want to get my seats dirty? Did I not want to be inconvenienced? Was it reckless to let someone like that in your car? Should have we made room and let him in our car and given him a ride and trusted God to keep us safe? I guess I feel like the bread was something, but somehow I can't rest with myself right now. Like the bread was enough to pacify the shame I felt at avoiding him and I felt convicted to so something, but not too much??

Now I'm just getting really tired and foggy, and rambly. My questions to you: 1- what would have you done? 2- what do you think we should have done....3- how would #1/#2 answers change if that dirty man had been jesus, or your brother, or your son? He's someones

1 comment:

  1. Good questions Shamree, they are difficult to answer. I want to say that I would have helped him out, but I also know that I would have wrestled with the decision and may have come up with several good reasons why I shouldn't.
    I think it's neat that God put it on your heart and that you're still thinking about it. It shows that you're compassionate.
    I guess I don't really have an answer, but it's definitely given me something to think about.