The area where I work is surrounded by a poor section. If I go to the market I often pass people asking for money. I budget what I have so I rarely give money away on the way to the market but I often give it on the way back. I plan it out that way.
I ran into two men this week that I hadn't seen before who asked me for change on the way to the market and cursed at me when I shook my head 'no' as I went. It was unusual... it was very unusual for it to happen twice in one week from two different people.
They were both gone when I came back. After breaking a big bill I had money in my hand for one of them and on the other day I bought an egg roll for the other man because he looked so strung out. After asking at the bus stop and circling the block I had to give up my search because I needed to get back to work. I ended up eating the egg roll myself because I couldn't find that angry young man and I didn't want it to go to waste.
I don't know what made each of them that angry or how many people cursed back at them or gave them a lecture because of their 'bad attitude'. I can only imagine the pain. Maybe when I shook my head they thought I didn't care about them like a long line of others that have not cared. But the truth is I had love in my heart.
I think many times God wants to give us something on the way back. He doesn't owe us help. We deserve Hell... all of us. God wants to bless us and his means is grace. 'No' today may turn into a greater blessing tomorrow. If He is shaking His head He is always doing it with love in his heart. He isn't one to ignore a request, forget a need or have a cold uncaring gaze.
I hope I see those men again. I understand that anger. It is gone from my heart but I really do understand. That anger might just get them killed. I pray it doesn't. I pray they meet the One who won't lecture them... the Savior who loves them just as they are with no excuses or regrets.
Next week I plan to buy an extra egg roll by faith just in case. A gospel tract will go in the bag and if a conversation is possible I pray it will happen and result in seed that grows into a glorious conversion.
If only they could have waited a few more minutes they would have gotten something they didn't deserve. I was prepared to give a little. I only have a little. God is prepared to give us so much more.