A Blog & Podcast by Frank Eriksen

We’ve all seen the signs. They’re on nearly every street corner in America. The signs that hide the face, the heart, the soul of someone in need. To be totally honest – I usually just pass them by. I might wave if we should make eye contact. Then I drive on. Out of sight – out of mind. I’ve been doing it for years.

My attitude is – get a job you bum. Don’t you have a family who can take you in? Or, you’re just too lazy to work – so you stand out here and make money by guilting kind-hearted people into handing you a buck or two. Then you beat feet to the liquor store or the local drug dealer and the cycle continues. Their cycle and mine. Maybe I can’t do anything about their cycle – but I can do something about mine.

The other day I passed by a guy with the usual sign. “Anything Helps” is the most popular plea around here. I made believe I didn’t see him and I drove on. But God saw him. And God saw me. As I turned up the sound on the car radio – the band Leeland’s song “Follow You” started playing. Part of the chorus is “I’ll meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God.” And I realized that I wasn’t meeting anyone’s needs. I was judging them. And my verdict was guilty of laziness, addiction, bad breaks, and general wastefulness. Then it hit me – that also describes me!

I often berate myself about not reaching my full potential for God and wonder how I will be judged when I stand on Heaven’s street corner. Will I have a sign? What will it read? “I Did Good Deeds?” “I Tithed!” ” I played in the church band.” “I Never Cheated On My Wife!” “I Never Killed Anyone!” If God drove by, would He drop a dollar in my hat? He’d probably just shake His head and say – “you still don’t get it do you?”

Sometimes I forget that I’ve been forgiven and saved. It’s not about what I do. It’s about what I believe. It’s about faith. And since I have that faith and have been saved by God’s grace the only thing left to do is follow the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Faith without works, is dead! I don’t want a dead faith. I want a living, breathing, loving faith.

For me, maybe it starts with handing that guy on the corner a dollar or two. “But he’ll just use it for booze or drugs.” Well, that’s between him and God. What if, I or you included a bible or tract with the money we hand our brother on the street corner? Rick Warren’s “What Am I Here For?” is a good one. So is “God Allows U-Turns!” by Allison Bottke. These are inexpensive and God will use them for His glory. All we have to do, is meet the needs of the poor and the needy – for God.

Handing a panhandler some money and a bible tract? $2.00. Sharing God’s love with a street person? Priceless!

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Comments on: "I’ll Meet The Needs Of The Poor and The Needy – Really?" (1)

  1. Great post! Often our question is “What can I do?” It’s a legitimate question, but we can all do something. Our church decided to do Pencil Boxes for the homeless. We basically take a pencil box, or a quart size ziplock bag, and fill it with a Gospel of John, some basic necessities, toothbrush, toothpaste, a pen, some paper, some bus tokens, a list of local government and non-profit resources and maybe just a couple fun things, like a candy bar or something. That way you can see them there and give them something meaningful and useful, and not just drive by.

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