My husband and I woke to see a man passed out on our porch this morning.
I’m no city kid; the Bronx has never been my neighborhood. This may explain why my first reaction was terror. My eyes flitted to the window we had left wide open in our bedroom while my mind calculated the potential cost we may pay for leaving the window in the living room open as well. After checking the screens on the outside of the windows and closing them we decided this could have been a lot worse than it was.
All that being said, we still had a bit of a problem. The man was not so much the problem as were the many questions swirling in my mind.
“What would Christ do? How would He handle this?”
“Do we actually have to go out there and talk to this guy?”
“Do we offer him a glass of water?”
How do we treat him?
Like I mentioned earlier my first reaction was terror. Despite wanting to act like Christ my second reaction was defence.
“How can we get him out of here?” I asked Alex.
He smiled at me, “I was reading through proverbs and asking God for wisdom.”
He paused to stare into my eyes.
“I think we should bring him out some water?”
My heart dropped.
“Do you want to wind up dead? What if the man has a knife, or worse yet, killer breath?”
He smiled weakly then sighed. “Yeah…”
“Maybe you’re right.”
“I know I am…” I peered at the window to make sure the scary, homeless man wasn’t peeking in.
Long story short, the man rose with the faintest hints of dawn. We didn’t have the chance to do anything to change the situation. We simply waited until we saw his foot disappear from the furthest section of our window.
After he left I stopped to ponder the condition of my heart. How was it that I didn’t understand the basic principles of our Christian faith when I had known the Lord for so many years?
How are we to treat people who despite tax payers money, billion dollar grants and countless rehabilitation initiative available to them, live on the streets, endanger our safety and continue to beg?
Do we say, “yes” when they ask for money that is clearly not for bus fare? Should we take them for food when all this may be doing is further enforcing the idea that they can mooch off of hard working people in society?
To be honest, I am still processing this and at the moment have more questions than answers attached to this post.
If you have any thoughts please share them.