How did I get to be this way? When did I stop caring? Why do I focus on the negative in so many situations rather than the potential?
The other week our family went to Sydney for a couple of days. We spent a bit of time wandering around doing some shopping in the city centre. It was the first time my little guys had been in the middle of a large, bustling city. (Canberra is small and somewhat sanitised to the casual day shopper.)
As we walked it seemed to me that there was a homeless person on every second block or so, sitting and begging for money. I did my best to shepherd my boys past them as quickly as I could. I didn’t want to give them any money. I didn’t make eye contact.
My thoughts were running something along the lines of…wonder how they managed to get themselves in this predicament. They must have screwed something up along the way. These people are professional beggars and trying to get out of working hard for a living. I bet they want the money for drugs and booze. They deserve what they get.
Nice bunch of cliches and stereotypes huh?
But each time we went past one of these people, my little guys would slow down and stare, and read the signs the withered old men were holding.
Fast forward an hour or so, and the boys are fighting over a handful of change in the food court. They can’t decide who gets what since the coins can’t be divided evenly. Then Shel asked, “Mum can we give the money to the hobo?”
“Yes of course.”
So off the two little boys went and dropped a handful of coins into an old man’s dirty upturned hat.
I felt lower than a snake’s belly. My butt was getting kicked by a soft-hearted 10 year old.
When did I get so cynical and hard-hearted? When did I stop caring about all people and not just the ones that were easy or convenient to care about? It’s much easier for the relief agencies to automatically deduct the money from my account. It’s safer that way. I don’t have to invest anything emotionally. I can disconnect, but still feel generous…and self-righteous.
How is passing judgment on people like this showing God’s love? Well….duh… IT’S NOT.
I had forgotten about what had happened until I read this post and watched Danny’s video over at Ragamuffin Soul last night. Please take the time to head over and read the post and watch the video.
Save us from these comforts.
Break us of our need for the familiar
Spare us any joy that’s not of You
And we will worship You
As Los would say….I need to get off my spiritual fat @** , disrupt my comfortable life and be God’s arms and legs to those who need it. It’s not enough to just drop money in the offering bag any more. That’s too safe. Too disconnected.
Lord break me. Soften my heart. Let me see people the way You see people. Help me to not get so comfortable that I can’t see past the end of my own nose. Help me not to be so self-righteous.