Buying food for beggars

Buying food for beggars

I had a hustler hit me up in the street in Shanghai today. He was a young guy, about 15 he said and I tend to believe him. Pimply and tall, dressed in clean clothes, he didn't look like he lived on the streets. I was standing on the side walk watching one of our group move around when this young guy introduced himself. He spoke in good strong English, not perfect like he had lived in an English speaking country, but good enough that he clearly spoke it often. He spoke about how much he liked people with white skin - odd but whatever floats your boat I guess. He asked where I was from and he knew a bit about Australia - the same place as NZ to him. After a while he told me he had run away from home and was living on the street, he hadn't eaten in a long time and was sooooo hungry. His lines sounded very prepared and practiced. In the end our party moved off and I left him without buying him any food.

I got thinking about the experience later that night. At the time I had just passed him off as another hustler trying to get something from me and I believe he was just hustling me. But it was the fact that he asked for food that got to me. Why would a hustler ask for food? Maybe this is what he did and each person he would ask for something different. Food from this person, shoes from that one, a sweatshirt from another. I started to wonder about how Jesus and the disciples handled these situations. Here are a couple of references I read over.

"Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." - Acts 3:6

"But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? 23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? 24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. 25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God" - Luke 5:22-25

I don't want to play into the hands of hustlers like a fool, and I don't want to perpetuate a cycle of being a professional beggar. I do want to meet the needs or people. I may not have a lot of money but certainly more than these people. But what is it that they really need? It seems to me that Jesus and the disciples knew these same professional beggars needed something more than just money. They knew these people needed healing both spiritually and physically. Many people in the world will be able to meet the money and clothing need for people but they can't meet the needs that only Jesus can. I take that same Jesus with me everywhere I go. So many next time I come acorss a hustler I should follow the lead and give them the very thing that is unique which I can offer. healing through Jesus.

It appears to me that no one else ever offers that. Well they don't seem to anyway. Good people give money and it's helpful. I want to be the sort of person that offers real answers that make a difference. I know Jesus made a difference in me, so I'm going to try and be brave enough and have faith that I can pass that on.

24 comments (Add your own)

1. Erika wrote:
Wow that's a good thought. I think God is trying desperately to instil a little of His boldness into His bride - little by little. We were all dead until He gave us life - in a way, we are all born dead, and we live dead until someone has the courage and the love and the grace to share the most important thing of all with us. I can't think of a worse thing than to live dead, but I've done it and I'm sure you probably have too at times. That the Creator humbled Himself to wear the body of His own creation - what greater love? There isn't really anything more exceptional that can bring more joy and freedom to the human heart and until we meet Jesus, we're eternally bound. When He meets us, He makes us eternally free.

"there are doubts to fade, moments to be made - and one of them is yours."

Sun, March 22, 2009 @ 6:40 PM

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It's a line from a song. I'll email you it in gmail. it sure is :)

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