Recently, one rainy, Saturday morning, I was downtown after a workout and heading to work for some overtime when I remembered my office keys were at home. This meant I made a right onto Gay St. to head home instead of heading straight on Gallia St. and heading for the bridge to drive over to Ashland. I was in the far right lane when I came to the intersection of 52 East when I saw a person in a big, black coat standing on the left corner with a sign that read “will work for food or money.” I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman, but I immediately knew what I had to do, my last Subway gift card staring me down on the dash of my car. I told myself they might be dangerous – I’ve had a few close calls with hungry and hurting people in my day job. I was also in the far right lane! None of that mattered, God told me. So I passed the person, switched lanes, and circled the entire block around Tim Horton’s, Long John Silver’s, etc… Finally, I pulled up at the gas station where the person was standing in the rain.
I said a prayer for my safety, and told God I hoped it wasn’t a man with a gun in that coat. I also wrote the address and time of Revolution on the back of my contact card. Next, I got out of the car and walked over to the corner with my Subway card in hand. The dark figure turned and I saw this young, white woman, soaked and dripping with rain. I said something like, “here’s a $5 gift card to Subway, go get something to eat.” She dropped her sign instantly, and tears began to form in her eyes. I looked at her and said, “God bless you.” I can’t remember if she said thank you, but she quickly turned and started to walk across the intersections to get to the Subway less than two blocks away.
I’ve heard enough people speak on helping the poor to know there is more I could have done. Thoughts began racing in my mind that I could have taken her out to eat myself, talked to her, dropped her off at a shelter, maybe been the one to lead her in a prayer for salvation. I finally decided that all these thoughts I had as I saw her walk away were just the enemy trying to turn my good deed into something that would frustrate me. I did everything Jesus asked me to do and everything I thought of until she was 100 feet away from me. We can’t do everything for anyone and Jesus knows this. He’s happy with us when we do what we can.
One last thing, if you are that young lady I gave the card to and you are reading this right now from a computer somewhere near Portsmouth, you’re still invited. Sunday’s, 7 pm, 8th and Waller. I’d really like to talk to you. You made my day last weekend!
Social Justice Director for Revolution