Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cussed out...

Here's an interesting fact...I think I've almost been cussed out more as a pastor than I have been in all my soccer playing years. And keep in mind that I used to have a reputation on the pitch of being an instigator, so to speak. Ask my wife...she'll explain.

But recently I had another one of those rare opportunities that found a homeless man looking for some food. The short story is that after he heard my response to his request for a gift card he "laughed" while giving me mocking applause and cussing me out. Why? Because I didn't give him that free gift card for the grocery store and instead asked him if he would be able to come back in later so I could find him some food.

Never once did I tell this man that I didn't care. Not once did I tell him "sorry I can't help." Not once did I ask him to leave, even when he became belligerent and started using non-creative language with me. Instead, I sat down beside him and asked questions and tried to engage in conversation.

But even little questions like "how long have you been on the street?" were met with harsh words and an attitude like I was stupid for inquiring. Like somehow I should have known his life story.

May I be so bold to say that I know why some people choose not to interact with the homeless. I can see why someone who has experienced a situation like that would choose not to get into a similar predicament. It's not fun or easy.

I know I'm called to look after the poor, the homeless, the fatherless, the widows, the orphans, and the list goes on. But can I be honest with you? It's hard sometimes. When my phone rings on a Wednesday to tell me there's another person at the front asking for a handout, my first response is not always pretty. Nor is it always Christ-like. And for that I am ashamed.

I'll keep trying though. And I'll keep asking God to help me love each person who walks through that door. But I doubt this will ever get any easier, will it?


dags said...

hello, finally getting a chance to stop by and after reading your apology in your last post, i feel i'm in an apologetic mood! sorry i haven't got back to you yet! things are nuts with fall kick off, but i will respond as soon as i can this week. and btw, i can totally relate to your issue with having a giving spirit when it's hard. there are days when i'm thankful that the other pastors deal with this kind of think and i don't have too. and the fact that i feel that way, makes me sad at the same time

Knotter said...

No worries at all Kelly! I hope kick-off stuff goes well for you. We're getting ready for church wide one this next weekend and our student one next week.

Crazy time of year, no doubt!

jon or angie said...

"non-creative language". i like that one.

i guess we have to try to remember all the handouts we've been given.

but it isn't easy. good for you for trying to help the guy and for not returning with guns blazing.