Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Give to Anyone who has Need?

When you see people hurting what do you do? I am always tempted to turn the other way... to walk in the other direction... to ignore the problem. Well, today I came face to face with this exact thing. I need to preface this with something I heard on a podcast the other day. I was listening to Matt Chandler's series on Luke. He was talking about turning the other cheek, giving people your cloak and giving to anyone as he has need. It's something that stuck with me because he said it wasn't our job to judge if someone was scamming or not; if you felt God telling you to give, give without looking for anything in return.
Well, today I came face to face with this exact situation. A woman walked into our shop with a sob story about her son being in the hospital, being from another city and not being able to buy his medicine. So, we went to the local pharmacy and bought her the medicine she needed. I talked to her a while about her children and her situation. I prayed for her and went back to work.
About an hour later, she came back to tell me that she needed the receipt for the medicine because she needed to return it. As I inquired as to why, she burst into tears telling me that her 8 year old son had just died. My heart broke for her. The other wise women in my shop were a little more weary that I, so one of them took her back to the pharmacy and it turned out that she tried to take the medicine back before to get the money, but couldn't without the receipt.
Gloria came back to explain all this to me and told me that I had been played by this woman. This woman had used my concern for her to try and get money.
At first, I was mad. I can't believe this woman used my concern for her benefit! And then I thought about that verse in Luke and how many people "used" Jesus to get what they wanted (and he KNEW they were using him!). But he gave as they had need. If the only thing that this woman got today was $15 and seeing that someone had concern for her, I truly believe it was what I was called to do without casting judgment.

1 comment:

Lynn Trew said...

That is always hard! You feel completely taken advantage of. I remember time and time again this sort of thing happening when I lived in Chicago. But then Christ gave us the gift and what we do with it is our choice... the gift is none the less just because we chose not to accept it. XXOO