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Seeking Things Above

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1)

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God Loves the Panhandler

HomelessIf you live in a medium to large city then you are well acquainted with the panhandler. These men and women hang out on our busiest street corners, holding up signs asking for work, food or money. If you're like me you may fluctuate between feelings of guilt and feelings of indignation when you're confronted with one of these folks at a red light. On one hand, there is the guilt, because just by the fact that you do not need to hang out on the street corner, looking for handouts, you are are better off. "Do I deserve what I have?" On the other hand, there is the indignation, because we are sure that they are where they are because of decisions they made and continue to make.

Do you find yourself repeatedly coming to God with your hands out? Do you seem to have the same problems over and over again?

God, please help me get these bills paid off, I need to feed my family (and I need a house in a good neighborhood, a new car and of course HDTV satellite).

God, why is my marriage falling apart? (Maybe I need more time away on the golf course - time for me or I'll explode).

God, help me get get through to my teenage daughter. Why does she insist on wearing such tight pants (Cool, my SI swimsuit edition came in today).

God, keep my children safe as they go off to college. Don't let them forget everything we've tried to teach them by taking them to church every Sunday. (Does the new season of Grey's Anatomy start this week or next?)

Do you get the picture? We ask God for help with our hands out but then we make the same decisions over and over again that send us right back to God to bail us out again and again. God does not mind us coming to him with our hands out. In fact, we can do nothing on our own. However, what is our intention? Do we have our needs and wants all skewed? At least the gentleman in the picture above is being honest with us.

God may not be any more interested in throwing us a couple of blessings that he knows we'll squander, than we are interested in throwing our local panhandler a few bucks we know he'll spend on drugs or alcohol. However, I know God does not look at us and feel guilty and I don't believe he looks at us with indignation either. Fortunately for us, God loves the panhandler.

Do you think the next time you see your local panhandler you can look at him or her through God's eyes? Of course, you'd need to make eye contact to do that.


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