The Day Jesus Walked up to My Car, Part One

Posted: June 2, 2010 in Iglesia, Lessons Learned
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I wrote this about three years ago, when my husband and I were living in a very urban area filled with a lot (and I mean a lot) of homeless people.  I wanted to share this mostly as a reminder to myself.  I learned a lesson that day, but it hasn’t always stuck with me.

. . .

Have you ever noticed that there are a ton of homeless people?  Although I sympathize with the fact that some of them have mental health issues, I’ve always felt a little bothered that they’re at EVERY intersection begging for money. I’m just going to be honest: it’s annoying and sometimes scary.  You also don’t know if they’re scamming you, and their car’s around the corner, or if they plan to waste your money on dope.  Thus, I’ve always been leery when it comes to homeless people.  I generally avoid them, finding something incredibly important to do in my car as they walk past my window.  If they persist and ask anyway, I usually lie and say I have no money. “I’m really sorry. I just don’t have any cash.” Mmm. Right.

So, I’d been feeling kind of bad about this and had read in the Bible all these passages about caring for the needy, and I decided I’d turned over a new leaf.  Anytime I saw someone at an intersection working for the local homeless organization, then I would give a buck or two. They may still steal out of the bucket or whatever, but I just felt a little better about it being an organization where the homeless were working. When you donate money, you get their publication that has news about the homeless population in the area as well as other handy tips just about life. So begins Part One of my story.

Part One:
As I drove home from church on Sunday, my car squeaked to a stop at the intersection of [major interstate highway] and [major cross-street].  As expected, the familiar bright yellow, homeless organization shirt came into view with a shady-looking young man in it.  Coarse, long hair and a snaggle-toothed smile topped the baggy, yellow shirt that hung on his emaciated frame. I estimated his age to be in the upper-30s range, but then I quickly reassessed in light of the probability of years of drug abuse. He may have been no older than myself. I gave a dollar in exchange for a “Thank you” and one of their newspapers.

Upon my arrival home, I collapsed onto my couch a little amused in anticipation of reading the little stories in their little paper. But the stories were not little at all; rather, they related heart-wrenching tales about homeless children who “live” all around me and are turned away from shelters. I muttered the obligatory, “That’s just so sad,” and shot up a three-second prayer as I turned to the last page. Staring back at me was a young man with long, scraggly hair and a scruffy beard. He wore the stereotypical sign about his neck lamenting his lack of food, but this sign was different. It simply stated, “Will work for loaves and fishes.” What…? Then my eyes caught the caption, “How can you worship a homeless man on Sunday, and ignore one on Monday?” Wow. That’s pretty good.

I didn’t feel terribly bothered by this. I thought it was very clever. Cutting it out, I put it by my computer. There was no stinging conviction in my heart because, remember, I had just given a whole dollar. I didn’t ignore him — not at all! I gave him money, and I didn’t worry about what he would do with it. (Even though I did see him 30 seconds later apparently stuffing something in his pocket and I muttered,”Typical.” But I still did my part!) So ends Part One.


  1. […] The Day Jesus Walked up to My Car, Part One […]

  2. “How can you worship a homeless man on Sunday, and ignore one on Monday?”


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