Friday, September 24, 2021

Overheard at Booth 1: Sandwiches for the Homeless

Still remember the time during a Friday night Bible study, we used to meet at each other's houses, rotating every week, and we'd always ask the host family to invite someone over, and at Rolando's house, he had over a guy from work, who went to a different church, and I'll never forget what he said.

I think the lesson was on the Good Samaritan and taking care of the less fortunate, and this guy suddenly pops off with, "My church was handing out sandwiches to the homeless one day and I was giving this guy one and he says, 'I can make $80k a year if I want to but I just don't want to!' so I TOOK that sandwich away from him and said, 'Then go out and get a job if you want a damn sandwich!'"

And we all sat there, not really knowing what to say, because he was a guest and we're not supposed to antagonize guests, but we mumbled some weak platitudes about helping those who truly need help, and even though this was pre-Trump, the general consensus was that we needed to help the homeless but they also needed to help themselves.

And that's not Christ.  And I'm ashamed that I didn't say more that night.  I'm ashamed I didn't speak up and tell the truth: which is, we are to help others in their immediate needs, regardless of what we expect them to do and regardless of why we think they are in that position.  

Plus, fact is, the homeless guy could have had mental issues.  Also, people have pride, people need to feel like they have a sense of dignity.  That homeless guy could have said that (assuming the guest's story was real) out of some need to feel some dignity.  

But even beyond that: how can we say that we share the Word of God when we hand someone a sandwich and then rip it out of their grasp?  That's not Christ-like.  That shames Christ.  That shames everything Christ taught, about grace, about charity, about giving of ourselves.

Don't let anyone ever tell you that America is going down because they won't let kids pray in schools.  America is failing because supposed "Christians" rip sandwiches out of the mouths of the homeless.

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