So here I was, sitting on the train on my way home from class…nothing unusual really. I’m sitting and minding my own business when something catches me off guard. The guy across the aisle from me stands and turns to the man sitting behind him (who is presumably homeless), “Are you hungry? I have this sub that I’m not going to eat if you want it.” The man smiles and accepts the offer and thanks man #1. Then the first man says, “Well, here are some chips too if you’d like.” The man accepts again. Man #1 waits by the door to get off the train and continues life as normal. Man #2 immediately digs into his dinner and smiles at me.
Now, I realize that these things happen and it’s not the first time I’ve witnessed something of a similar nature. However, this time it made me think something different. I wouldn’t have done t hat. I don’t think I would have given that man my food, especially in front of everyone on the train. I’m a coward in that department.
So what does that say about me? Isn’t that the kind of thing I’m supposed to do? What is so scary about reaching out. Perhaps it’s the risk involved. The fear that the person isn’t going to be appreciative, or worse they’ll be offended. They would have a right, I suppose. Would that be the end of my world? Is helping someone worth that risk of rejection? Is their hunger and need greater than my fear? In this moment, my answer is no. And that makes me really sad. What could I be doing? What is my part? Why am I so afraid of reaching out and helping another human being? Should I be?
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25:44-45
Thoughts to ponder on a Monday evening.
Until next time…