Some of you may have seen this moving video of a man who posed as a homeless person asking for money. Instead of accepting the money he is offered, he gives money back. I was struck by the fact that most of the generous people in the video seem to be pretty down and out themselves.
There’s another video that made the rounds of a person who gave a homeless man $1,000. What touched me as I watched it was not the video-maker’s generosity, but the homeless man’s. He kept asking the person who gave him the money to take some saying, “This right here will be enough for me…I would like to share it. I would like to share it.”
I was reminded of these generous hearts the other day when I was riding in a car with one of my sisters. We stopped at a red light and I saw a man with a cardboard sign asking for money.
Several thoughts went through my mind.
- Don’t avert your eyes, don’t avert your eyes!
- Should I give him money?
- If I give him $2, that is 10% of my monthly budget!
(And the Lord knows I have important things I need to buy with my monthly allowance..ahem)
But finally, I thought, “Oh for heaven’s sake, Theresa, would you rather drink a coffee at Dunkin’ Doughnuts or give this poor man a dollar?”
My mind decided, I bent down to take out my wallet.
Suddenly, I heard a loud rapping on the window of our car.
I looked up to see the man wildly staring at me, a dollar clutched in his hand.
“Wow, he is pretty aggressive,” I thought.
Nevertheless, I began to open my wallet, but his rapping only became more insistent.
I rolled down the window.
The man gleefully handed me the dollar bill he had been gripping in his hand and practically skipped away.
I was stunned. I did not want this man’s dollar, I wanted to give him a dollar.
I considered yelling after him but instead, I just started to smile widely.
This man, in his poverty, gave his widow’s mite to me, a nun in a habit, because seeing me he was reminded of God.
I resisted giving him even a little, but he freely gave what may very well have been his last and only dollar.
I’m going to keep that dollar in my wallet as a reminder to be generous with others, in my actions and in my thoughts.
God has a way of humbling us, and I thank him for it.