Monday, February 7, 2011

It's the homeless person's responsibility. (Dad's edit)

*** Taken from my anonymous blog from a year ago:
Ever since I can remember, my dad has put a dollar a week into a certain section in his wallet that he sets aside to give to people asking for money on the streets. (“homeless”)
I didn’t think much about it when I was younger, since we, as Christians, give to the needy. (sticks nose into the air)
It wasn’t until I went into this “world” that everyone speaks of that I realized that not everyone tells the truth. Shocker.
Anyway, I went to visit my dad at work on his lunch break, and as we were driving to go to get some food, we saw this man holding a piece of cardboard that said that he was a Vietnam veteran who needed money.
Without hesitation, my dad reached into the same wallet I’ve known for years and pulled out a few dollars.
He had a polite conversation with the man, legitimately treating him as his equal.
Again, he explained what he has always explained to me about putting this money aside for occasions such as this.
I asked him how he knows who are the conniving con artists and who are truly in a rough spot.  After all, my dad is a genius and I was certain that he would have some calculated formula to pick the homeless from the “homeless.”

He shocked me with his answer: “That’s their responsibility.”
!!!
Brilliant.
We are responsible for what we do or do not, and if we spend our lives tip-toeing around what other people are going to do or not do, we will never get anything accomplished.
That thought is a broad one; however, it was definitely something to think about.

Cheers.

Read my dad's response here:

Elizabeth,

You have left out the best part. My attitude toward those who are asking for a hand out is mainly informed by my understanding of God's attitude toward me when I have my hand out toward Him.

Does God put me through minute scrutiny regarding what I might or might not do with each blessing I receive from Him? I don't think so. Rather, He lets what I choose to do with the blessings I receive from Him be my responsibility.

Of course, there are also plenty of situations in life where it is clear that "helping" someone would actually do more harm than good. That harm could take many forms, and recognizing it in its many forms requires considerable discernment; a trait I recommend developing. In that case it is appropriate to withhold.

I explicitly ask God and trust Him to withhold from me those things which He -- from a vantage point I do not have -- sees would do me more harm than good.

And finally, there is a prayer I have prayed to which I have received clear and abundant answer: God, if you can bring glory to your Name by placing adversity in my life then bring it on. I am yours.

That one led to quite an adventure that I would not have wanted to miss.

Why always ask for candy for me? I mean, what's that about, really?

Regards,

Dad

7 comments:

Breeanna @ a brilliant melody said...

When I was younger, I wanted to help the homeless so much! But I was blind to the fact the some were not using the money they get to better their situation. Now that I know the truth, it's hard for me to give to them, but I do like your father's answer.

Thanks for following me at my blog :)

Lillian said...

I like your dad's response. I don't usually give a homeless person money, but I will try to buy them a meal or groceries. Long story for my own blog sometime. =>

Your dad has a good attitude. Good post.

Gwiddle said...

I never thought about it that way. I used to try and give homeless people my leftovers when they where pan handling for "food" or "money for food" it wasnt like bitten off of or anything. BUT they totally would deny it, even if it was something I hadn't touched! Now if I was on the street and starving I would gladly take it. haha. But that sign is totally true, a lot of them are just seeking alcohol or drugs. Your dad seems like a stand up guy. I mean he keeps money in his wallet for people who are begging on the street. Sounds like my type of guy (not in a dating way..) Okay this comment is probably sounding weird.. Basically my point is I like your dads mentality about the homeless that beg, that it is their responsibility. Have a great day girl!

Scot Hollingsworth said...

Elizabeth,

You have left out the best part. My attitude toward those who are asking for a hand out is mainly informed by my understanding of God's attitude toward me when I have my hand out toward Him.

Does God put me through minute scrutiny regarding what I might or might not do with each blessing I receive from Him? I don't think so. Rather, He lets what I choose to do with the blessings I receive from Him be my responsibility.

Of course, there are also plenty of situations in life where it is clear that "helping" someone would actually do more harm than good. That harm could take many forms, and recognizing it in its many forms requires considerable discernment; a trait I recommend developing. In that case it is appropriate to withhold.

I explicitly ask God and trust Him to withhold from me those things which He -- from a vantage point I do not have -- sees would do me more harm than good.

And finally, there is a prayer I have prayed to which I have received clear and abundant answer: God, if you can bring glory to your Name by placing adversity in my life then bring it on. I am yours.

That one led to quite an adventure that I would not have wanted to miss.

Why always ask for candy for me? I mean, what's that about, really?

Regards,

Dad

la petite lydia said...

Wow this post is amazing. I really liked your dad's response.

Like Amy said, we really should meet! You seem like such a cool person.

amyschmamey said...

Your Dad is wise! I like this. And yes. You + Me + Lydia = HANGOUT TIME! For realz... Lydia is a busy girl, but I'm sure we can work something out.

Janna Lynn said...

This is an awesome post...definitely gives me some mental candy to chew on! :) Hearts, Janna Lynn