Monday, April 12, 2010

A Proverbs 31 Woman - Week 6

At times I wonder how this Proverbs 31 woman was able to accomplish all that she does.  At first glance, it sounds like a lot doesn't it?  But the more I review it, the more I realize it isn't so much the actions of this woman that make her so special, it is her heart.  She strives to provide for those she loves and cares for, she strives to bring honor to her family through her actions.  And our first verse this week shows that she also reaches out to others as well.  Verse 20 tells us that:
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 
Not only does she provide for her own family and responsibilities, but she reaches out to help others as well.  This one is pretty self explanatory.  Help those less fortunate than ourselves.  Sounds pretty easy, but do we do it?  I know I have often found myself exiting the highway only to see someone standing at the light at the end of the exit ramp with a cardboard sign and dressed in ragged clothes and I begin to pray.  Sounds pretty good doesn't it?  Except my prayer tends to be more along the lines of, "please turn green, please turn green.  Don't make me stop beside him."   Their poverty makes me uncomfortable.  Or I start to think that perhaps they are really just trying to get something for nothing, being lazy.  But this isn't the attitude we are supposed to have.

I had to finally realize that I need to change my prayer to something more along the lines of, "God, you have put me here, what is it you want me to do?"  Sometimes I don't feel led to do anything but drive on past, others I have given money, and others I have given gift cards (it's what I had on hand).  Rather than let my own flawed thoughts lead the way, I move over and let God take over.  It is easy to bring some food to the canned food drive at church, or to give when the Boy Scouts collect.  Have you really opened your arms and extended your hand to the needy?  Hard to do if you won't get face to face with them.  Take a day and volunteer at the local food pantry or soup kitchen.  Walk up to the homeless person and talk to him or her.  My husband and I were once eating breakfast at a local fast food restaurant, saw a man and both of us felt led to give him a gift certificate for food.  My husband purchased it, went outside and presented the man with it, and invited him to breakfast with us.  We discovered that the establishment would not allow him inside!  At what point did we (society) quit caring about people?  At what point did we as Christians decide that only those as good as ourselves deserve respect?  I attended a church at one point and was told by the preacher's wife that the church would only help people who requested it if they attended our church first!  I don't recall that being in my Bible anywhere.  Jesus called us to love each other and to help each other, regardless of our position.  Do you truly extend your hand to the needy, or do you simply put your offering on a stick and poke it at them?



Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I totally get what you are saying about the people with the signs...However...I have seen investigations done on this issue. Not all, but some of these people have discovered that they can make more begging than they can on a real job. They literally will rake in more than $100 a day,tax free, 6 or 7 days a week. I stopped even thinking of giving money to these beggars on the highway ramps when the one I saw very often suddenly switched sides of town! If she is so bad off how can she get 30 miles away?

I do other things to help society. One winter I made like 40 baby hats for the local WIC program. I make freezer meals for people who are sick or have just had babies.

Ginny said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I agree that there are many that take advantage of the situation. I also felt much like you at one point and struggled with my feeling of "If they want it they should do real work for it" One day however, it was pointed out to me that it really isn't my money, it's God's money. It was at that point that my prayer changed when I saw these people. When I feel led to give I do, and I don't think about it again after that. I have obeyed and done my part of showing God's love to others. What they do with it is between them and God.

I also make items to donate to children through God's Tiny Angels ( didn't realize WIC accepted items. What a great outreach to others!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic. I know many people have different views on it and I appreciate hearing everyones.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Mine does an annual baby shower for clients who have had babies throughout the year. I also realized that they insist on seeing babies within a week or two of birth. My son has been on WIC since he was 11 months old ( he ages out in 5 months).

I guess I kind of do what my heart leads me to do--it just has not lead me to give cash to these strangers on the street. One of the things my heart has lead me to do is donate baby food to the local food pantry. Years ago my family benefited from food pantries/banks; when we went to repay their generosity we were told that they always need things for babies. No one really thinks to donate jarred baby food, boxes of baby cereal, or baby juices. The last time I donated ( like $40 worth)they were overjoyed when they discovered the receipt showing that I had just purchased the items. Apparently there are people who will donate expired, or nearly expired food to the food bank. I guess they think that poor people should be grateful for anything...

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