The Giving Life

**Thank you to Annie and Amanda for always encouraging and inspiring**  

So, I’ve failed these last few Mondays on getting a post out there, and I’ve given myself every excuse in the book.
1. no internet in my apartment
2. no time
3. nothing to write about

All but the first one are false, and even the first one wouldn’t keep me from blogging if I didn’t let it.

Okay, confessional done.
Story time =)

Last night I met up with a couple of women for some frozen yogurt at a place in Dinkytown. If you’ve never been, Dinkytown is one of the most vibrant places to experience in Minneapolis. Humming with humanity, the place makes me feel so alive.

In some sense, we’re all people watchers. There’s nothing quite so fascinating as another human being. So as I’m sitting outside the little yogurt shop, I simply can’t take my eyes the army of skinny boys riding their skateboards back from wrestling camp, a hipster couple holding hands, a tired-looking manwalking with two children.

He seems distracted and doesn’t notice his little followers were taking up the entire sidewalk, blocking the path of a dedicated, spandex-clad cyclist. Finally, the father notices what’s happening, apologizes and guided the child gently to his side. I looked away.

Just as this little family is about to pass, the man stops and, to my complete surprise, speaks to us.“Excuse me ladies. I hate to interrupt your evening.”
Oh stink, I’m thinking, he saw me watching them. Maybe he’s offended, maybe…
and then he says, “I recently lost my job–and any help you can give–even if you can’t help, even if you won’t, I’ll still say God bless ya.” He is talking a fast, practiced at his speech. He takes out two IDs from local charities, continues to say, “Anything you can give helps. Anything. I don’t care if I eat, but I’m thinking about my wife, my kids.”

He could be scamming us, using those kids. I’m thinking as the women I’m with are shaking their heads. No cash. And what do I have? I few dollars? I’m looking at these kids, reaching for my billfold. One bill. One measly dollar and a fist full of coins. That’s what I have, and I’ll give it to them. I motion with my finger, and the little boy smiles and comes. I fill his little fist with the money, put some more in his pocket. “Yes,” the man says, almost regretfully, knowledgeable of my distrust. “Yes, give it to the boy.”

They keep walking. And we sit in silence.

There was a man once, walked up to my brother and I in a coffee shop. He had a filthy piece of paper, said he was deaf, and wanted money. Needed it. I didn’t believe him, shook my head no, and my brother handed him a $20.

The deaf man left and I felt a little sick. “He’s probably a scam artist,” I said. “What if he is?” My brother said. “Who am I to judge.”

What if that man I met was lazy, what if that’s why he lost his job. Worse, what if he was lying? Does it really matter? Not now–it was only a couple bucks. But what if I’d had a $20 in my billfold, would it have mattered then?

Give Life

If a man asks you for your shirt, give it to him. Just give it to him. That’s what Jesus said. I’m sick of playing judge. I’m no good at it, and I’m not called to be. I’m just called to give. Love, service, time, money, whatever. It’s all His anyway.

 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. Luke 6:30 ESV