Undeserved Gifts

We pass them on the street – all men, mostly black, holding their cardboard signs – “Hungry”, “Homeless”, “Please help”, “God bless”, “We’re all God’s children”.  They rattle their cups, asking passersby to contribute their loose change.  My heart turns inside me with each one I pass.  A general rule of never giving cash, I keep my eyes focused ahead and pray.  I pray for wisdom and discernment for me, provision for them, and that God would be speaking both to me and to the ten year old girl with me what the right response is.  One woman, toothless and hungry, asks me to buy her a sandwich.  So we back track a few steps to the 7-11 and I buy her a sandwich and a drink.  “When I was hungry, you gave me food to eat…” Oldest child asks why they don’t go to the mission to get a meal, why they don’t go inside the store that says “Hiring”, why they sit there and hold their signs.  I have no easy answers.  I have no answers at all really.  “I don’t know, Grace,” I say, helpless.

I am thankful that I cannot pass them and feel nothing.  I am thankful for the work God is doing in my life and the lives of my children.  I am thankful that, even though I feel small and helpless and confused in these situations, I serve a God who is big enough and I trust Him for the answers.

Giving thanks for just some of the undeserved gifts….

0741.  three days away with my oldest daughter

0742.  my dad’s fuel-efficient Camry

0743.  safe travels

0744.  memories made

0745.  the city of Chicago

0746.  suggestions from many friends

0747.  husband who supports my renewed love for road trips

0748.  kids finally old enough to make road trips fun again

0749.  coming home to house clean and ironing done

0750.  talking until 2 am

0751.  being reunited with the one I love

0752.  welcome home hugs from little girls

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