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My experience with the homeless man on the corner

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Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit

Yesterday, I wrote about the homeless and told you I would share my experience with a homeless man. If you recall, our Bible study group decided we can’t give to everyone we see but are there times we are supposed to, and how will we know the difference?

No one can deny that homelessness is a huge problem in America and in the rest of the world.

We decided that it means being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to trust we will feel the Spirit’s nudge when the time is right. Well, this past Monday, I felt that nudge.

Let me backtrack a little.

There have only been about five times in my life I have given any money in this way. So, obviously, I believe it should be rare. Most of us know, and statistics show it is true, that giving money to someone begging on a corner is not usually a good idea because the money is usually used for drugs or alcohol.

But, that’s not always the case. Very few things are ‘always.’ Right?

The story of me and the homeless man

I had just been to DT and Staples. I’m making these adorable journals but wanted some nice paper for the pages.

I’ve moved on to Christmas journals now. Anyway, I decided I was hungry, and McDonald’s was in the same area. My husband and I had to drive back to our cabin to pick up our truck that died on us when we were heading home the prior week. So it had been a full day already.

I seldom eat fast food anymore, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do when they’re starving.

I also ordered an iced coffee which I never do because I don’t do lactose, but McDonald’s has no other option. So I pulled into the driveway that leads to the main road, and you know what happened, don’t you?

The Encounter

There he was, the homeless man. Right on the corner ahead of me. There were a number of cars ahead, so I had time to listen to any prompting from the Holy Spirit. There was no doubt. I took out some money, and when I pulled up, I rolled down the window and handed him the money, telling him I wanted him to use it for food, knowing, of course, I had no way of controlling what he did.

He was older than most, which is one of the reasons I stopped.

He looked at me and said, tearfully, I might add, “Thank you. Bless you. I could use a cup of coffee.” He thanked me again. I was still not at the red light, so I was able to watch him. He gathered his things, and I watched him go right into McDonald’s. As far as he knew, I had already pulled away. I felt so good knowing he went in there.

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Yes, I know. He might have only used the restroom and pocketed the money for drugs or alcohol. But I like to believe he didn’t. Besides, what he did was really of no consequence in relation to what I did. I obeyed the Spirit, and that’s where my responsibility ended.

That’s where all our responsibilities end, in obedience to God. We do what God prompts us to do through the voice of the Holy Spirit and then leave it alone until the next prompting comes.

It will probably be years and years before I do that again. I only know it was the right thing that day.

By the way, in my truly self-centered thinking, I figured the day would go really well after that. But it didn’t. The hamburger was awful, they add flavoring to my iced latte, which I specifically asked them not to do, and the rest of the day was filled with annoyances.

So, there’s that.

Anyway, remember, listen to the Holy Spirit and when you are sure of his leading, about anything, act on it immediately. Obedience delayed is no obedience at all.

God bless and have a great weekend.