Winter Isn’t Over

A few years ago while my wife and I were still in Georgia, we were at a friend’s house having a barbeque. It was a sunny day with the rain clouds creeping in as it often did in Georgia. A few of us were sitting on the porch, enjoying each other’s company while having a conversation. One of our friends who was there that day and who has since passed, told me something that I will remember for the rest of my life. We were talking about the great disparity between the rich and poor. I wondered why the gap was so great especially when we can see people suffering. He said to me, God gives to some that they may act as “reservoirs” to those without, but it is our choice, to give or to hold onto. To that I agreed. A little over a year after that barbeque, his words would echo in a different way, when I found out he passed away, alone and away from his family, in a tent, on the side of a freeway oblivious to those who drove past him.

homeless person

It is true, that ultimately it is each individual’s choice to decide if they give, how much they give, and when they give. But when that choice is yours, ask yourself something; do you count the score? Do you wonder when you will reap the reward? Do you count the ways giving will benefit you? Do you judge the one you give to? Do you even acknowledge their existence? Is that dollar or few dollars in your pocket really going to make all the difference to you, when someone in front of you hasn’t had anything to eat that day, or perhaps even the day before? Does it matter how they will spend the money you give to them, when it is their choice?

It certainly is your choice to give, but is it your place to judge how they shall spend what you give? After all, that cable television, or new pair of shoes, or four dollar coffee from Starbucks were really necessary I bet. We sometimes have this habit of thinking that everyone who is homeless or less fortunate put themselves there by choice. Don’t be foolish into thinking that you can’t one day be there too. Don’t think for one second your life is as secure as you believe it to be.  Sometimes we are dealt circumstances in life that drive us to do unthinkable things and to live unthinkable lives. The truth is it’s out there. You see it every day. Whether you truly see it or you just choose stare straight ahead, it’s still there.

Don’t ask why there are still homeless people in this world, or why there are still hungry people, or sick people in this world, when you sit there on your couch watching your television or reading your book. Hunger doesn’t stop when winter is over.

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