Any Spare Change, Sir?
The Name of Jesus is the One Lever That Lifts the World.
And as ye go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into a house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet …” (Matthew 10:7-14)
Every individual has a story to share. However, there are some people, who in spite of an intense yearning to tell their story to others will rarely have this opportunity. There are reasons for this. On one level, there are those within society who will be judgemental, already formulating an opinion about a person’s status in life – particularly if their current occupation is “begging for change” on the street. Others prefer to disregard or overlook the plight of others who are less fortunate, even if the individual’s circumstance is clearly short-term. Still, others believe that by ignoring people who beg, society will be rid of these types of folks, albeit through mental illness institutions, sickness or death.
This week, while on the job, I happened upon some people asking for money. Their faces were gaunt. Their eyes hollow. Their dirty unkempt clothes less than desirable for those who quickly sauntered by them. Sometimes, they speak. Sometimes, they hide behind a simple sign that states, “Spare change – hungry – help.”
I began to wonder about their individual story. Did they use to live a normal life? Did they used to work? Didn’t they once have dreams, like you and I? Was there someone out there who loved them and prayed every night for their safety? Moreover, did they ever want to just stop and say to people who passed by – “No, please. I used to be normal. Yes, I worked. I had dreams. There are people who love me but I am just too ashamed to ask for their help.” Or, perhaps cry out in desperation, “I don’t know what happened to me but I want to change this. I just don’t know what to do.”
I remember hearing the quote – “if not for the grace of God, there goes I.” Indeed, in a moment of unforeseen circumstance, it could be you and I begging for change on the street. Therefore, we should never forget how close to the edge we all walk. How very thankful we should be, remembering how tenderly and compassionately Jesus treated those less fortunate. The parable of the Good Samaritan comes to mind. Freely we receive His many blessings upon our lives … therefore, freely give. (Matthew 10:7-14)