To do good and to share

Hebrews 13:16     But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

James 2:14-16    What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save them?  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

Proverbs 11:25   A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

A few months ago, I saw a man with a sign which read “Hungry. Please help.” I often have gift cards to McDonald’s, Subway, Food Lion or Walmart with me. I handed one out the window to the gentleman and said, “I hope this helps a bit.”

He looked at the card, then back at me and said, “You haven’t got any money?”

I was stunned, then hurt, then furious. I drove away with swirling emotions, none of which were pleasant. I muttered about beggars not being choosers, and railed that a $25 gift card to Walmart should help. Shamefully, I must admit, that my hands shook with indignation and anger, and my thoughts were not pleasant toward the man.

Then, that quiet voice reassured me I had done what I was supposed to do, and yes, I had tried to help, but the incident was over, done, and certainly not worth my being so upset. By complaining and thinking how ungrateful, I was losing any blessing God may have planned for me. The act was not about me. I don’t do it for  kudos…yet I was acting as though this was a personal affront to me. It was not. I did what I should have done, and it would have behooved me to just smile and say a prayer for the man.

I am blessed to be able to help some in this manner, and it is part of my duty and in all honestly, my desire, to help when I can. But I took his response as a personal affront. And that was not my right. So after several minutes of sputtering, I did say a prayer for him—not wholly enjoying the act of praying for him, but then a gentle peace filled my soul.

And my next thought, and gracious acknowledgement was “Oh, but for Your grace, it could be me asking.” So sorry I messed up with that act.

I hope the next time, I choose to hand out another gift card without thought of this negative incident. I don’t want it to cloud my thinking.  

I have much to be thankful for with the blessings and “mybellaviews.”