Devotional: The Homeless, Sign in Hand

Deuteronomy 15:11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. NIV

I see lots of people standing on corners begging. Many times it's cold or rainy. They often look ragged, sometimes even desperate. I wonder who they are. What brought them to this? I admit I sometimes question why they don't just get a real job.

Photo from Flickr

Photo from Flickr

Have you ever stood on a busy corner, sign in hand, needing something? I have. Not to beg for food or money, but the experience was daunting none-the-less. I was there with a couple of the youth from our church. We were holding signs advertising the fall festival our church was having. I noticed people looked at us first before they read our signs. They made judgments. Why are they on the corner? Are they beggars? Are they protesters? Do the balloons and colorful signs mean there’s something in it for me? There was curiosity, but I felt there was also a bit of animosity.

Jesus encountered the poor and sick along the way. He healed many and preached that we should help the poor. He knew even two thousand years ago that we’d always have with us those who needed help.

On the day the youth and I stood on the corner, we encountered some of those poor. We were having the festival to reach out to the community and recruit new members, especially children. But the poor were most interested in the food available. So we did as the Bible teaches. We willingly opened our hands and fed all the hungry who stopped by. 

Gracious Father,  Help us learn from Your extravagant generosity. Give us a heart for those struggling. Show us how to help our brothers and sisters in need, the poor in our land who just need a hand up. Amen.