Monday, August 18, 2008
A few weeks ago at Togethership Caleb handed out $10 gift cards to each of us. The cards were purchased with the offering money Togethership had generated over the previous several weeks. The plan was to hand out the cards to local homeless people that we would come in contact with in the coming days.
Since then I had wanted to be rather selective of who I gave my gift card to. Not really understanding why, but I wanted there to be some sort of connection between the person and I before I handed out the gift.
Today, Molly and I took a walk downtown around triangle park and the surrounding streets. We decided today was going to be the day we would offer a free meal to someone.
After walking around downtown, there was a homeless man who as he was walking past us, reached out and gave me a high five. It was a little awkward, but we decided to offer him my gift card.
Upon handing the card to him, his face lit up and offered many thanks for the free gift. It was a beautiful moment as he realized he was being offered something free of charge and all he had to do was reach out his hand and accept it.
There was another man walking a few feet from this gentleman who we wanted to give our other gift card to. This time there was a much different response to the gift. The man barely thanked us for the gift card. It was awkward this time as well, but in a different way.
Instead of offering his thanks for the gift, he took the card and continued walking past us. A few seconds later he was coming back toward us trying to chase me down. I was confused about what he could possibly say to us; but he looked down at the gift card and asked me how much it was worth. I told him the amount and immediately he turned around and headed for this other man who was sitting enjoying the fountains.
At that moment I could tell he was looking to pawn the gift card for some quick cash.
How sad, I thought, it must be that he was offered a present, a warm meal, but he would rather trade that in for something that would ultimately destroy his body. Someone had taken the time to care for his needs but he quickly threw that away, simply looking for the next chance to fulfill his fix.
However, it would almost be foolish of me to judge him in such a manner. Today was a simple but powerful reminder of how God has blessed me with so many gifts yet sometimes I push them aside and neglect to give thanks for them.
I really love the Scripture found in 2 Corinthians 9:15 - Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!