When’s the last time you drove by someone on a street corner who was holding up a sign, asking for help? Have you ever stopped or do you just drive by like everyone else?
I align with the general population. It’s not that I don’t care, I just know better. How many “homeless” people asking for help, maybe something to eat, really end up using that money for food? There’s no way to know for sure. I bet some people are being honest, are actually homeless and really need a helping hand to get through the day. On the flip side, I’m sure some of these people are just trying to take advantage of the generous to feed an addiction or maybe because they’re too lazy to get a job. So what should we do?
We will never know someone’s motivation or reason for seeking help or money. Honestly, I have never stopped my car in one of these situations. Until today.
As I’m leaving a lunch restaurant, I see a young woman holding a sign asking for help to get back home. I thought about it for a split second, and then drove past like I always do. As I turned onto a main road, I immediately got a strong sense to turn around. I thought to myself, “But why this time and never before?” No answer.
As I made it back to the young woman, I stop and ask her what’s going on. Her name was Amelia. She said she needed help driving back to her home of Arizona, specifically 4 tanks of gas. A person before me had just filled up her gas, so she needed a couple more tanks for her journey back home. She told me about her husband and kids, and how a job in Des Moines has not worked out. As I asked a few more questions to try and see if she was really being honest, she said, “I know you probably don’t believe me, but only God knows my heart.” She asked if I believed in Jesus, and I said yes. At that moment, I knew it was the right thing to do. I found a couple of bills and handed them to her. I asked if I could pray for her, and she smiled and said, “Yes, please!”
Before I left, Amelia was so happy and said, “Thank you so much, God bless you and your family!”
So, why this time? I can’t give you a specific answer. And even though I believed what she was saying, I’m not 100% sure she will use the money for gas to get back home. What I do know is that God is so loving and powerful. He is always revealing himself to us, we just don’t always take that leap of faith and trust that His timing is always perfect.
I am glad that the Holy Spirit worked in me at that very moment. I am glad when His spirit leads me instead of me failing to lead myself. I am glad that I turned around.