Monday, October 8, 2007

Divine Encounter

Jesus, you make me feel so damned guilty when you
sit there like that, grinning, rattling your can, blowing through that
windless, tuneless harmonica

I tell you, “you know you’ll only spend it drugs, maybe booze,
if I’m lucky”

but you only blow “O Susannah” and smile
and I hear the coins rattle in your cup: dimes, nickels, they hit
the bottom: clink, clank

“In good conscience, I can’t,” I tell you: are you listening?
is it really so hard to understand, Jesus, that
I have to be a good steward, I mean

you gave me this money in the first place; and surely
you wouldn’t want me to let you buy drugs with it –
would you?

come on, Jesus be reasonable


  1. that's good. doesn't make me feel good...but it's good. you're my hero.

  2. You know...

    I've looked beggars in the eye and said no. I've given money at times to those on the street who ask. I've given food instead of money...And I don't know that I've helped one of them.

    How do we care for those in need out of our love for Christ?


  3. Thanks for the comment, Nate.

    I think the issue I was trying to get at here was the justifications I try to make to my own conscience when I brush off a homeless person's request for money. Do I do it because I think it's what's best for him or her, or because they make me uncomfortable and I'd rather not deal with them?

    And yeah, there's a larger issue here. Once I get past my simple discomfort and make the decision to acknowledge them and their need, how do I best proceed to meet that need? Money? Food? Lodging? What can I reasonably do as a stranger passing by? And that, I think, is a question we all have to answer for ourselves.

  4. It's a question we should set straight in our minds. I know how often I feel like I am taken off guard. That should never be. It's harder for me I think because I don't spend a lot of time in a city, even Bellingham which is nearby.

    Good post!