I Hate It When Exercise Is The Answer… Emily Watts
This chapter relates Emily’s experience with a homeless person asking for money. I think we all want to avoid that feeling of being selfish for not sharing when we see someone homeless, but you know what? Just acknowledging someone as another human being is a gift. How often do we glance away and pretend we don’t see people? For me it’s somehow easier to ignore adult males because they’re often a bit frightening. No one in the world could be heartless enough to ignore a woman crying over her baby. I love this photo for it’s stark naked message.
Exercise #19 Sharing
Assess what you have to give. Choose reputable causes to give money to, and then when someone asks you randomly for a handout you can refuse kindly and without guilt to support his or her ineffective habits. Find a way to acknowledge the person as a sibling in the struggles of morality, and be sensitive to the nudgings of the Spirit as to what you might share that would be of greater worth than a couple of quarters.
A friend of mine was in New York City and was approached by a woman asking for money. Instead of giving her money, my friend offered to buy her a meal at a fast food place. The woman accepted and along with her meal got a dose of religion. The thing is, I was impressed that my friend felt that prompting and acted on it. I think at that point if she still wanted to give the woman some money she might have done so feeling that she was sincere in her request. Me? I don’t give money out on the streets except to the Salvation Army bell ringers (mostly because I don’t usually have any). Instead I donate to an organization that can take my few dollars and add to other peoples and feed a lot more than one person, a lot more than one meal. But hey, gift according to your conscience, and honestly. I think faced with the woman in that picture above I’d empty out my purse and just have to explain to the credit card company why they weren’t getting paid that month.