Saturday, February 18, 2012

helping or enabling

Last night when Curt was walking out of the gas station, a woman approached him and asked if he could give her a ride to her mother's apartment. She got into the back seat with me and told me her car had ran out of gas on the interstate and she didn't know what she was going to do. During the ride, she then asked if I had a couple of dollars to give her for bus fair in the morning. I said I didn't. She wanted to know if they (pointing towards Adam and Curt) would have a couple of dollars. "They" meanwhile were sitting very quiet in the front seat. Adam finally shook his head no and Curt said we'll have to see. When we got to her destination, Curt handed her some money folded up. She took it and then asked, "how much did you give me". He said four dollars and she said a disappointed, "oh" and got out.
Here is where I struggle. I do not want to become hard hearted to those in need. I pray regularly that God will use me in any way. I do not want to miss an opportunity to be a Disciple for Him. Why I said no to giving her money. I had noticed her standing outside the door of the gas station smoking a cigarette. When Curt came over to the car with her, he told us she had said her car had broken down and she needed a ride. In the car she told me she had run out of gas. I'm sitting there thinking, "where did you get $8 for a pack of cigarettes" and then you're asking for bus fare. Adam said he said no because there are so many people begging around here and usually the same ones.
So - how do you know when you are giving and not enabling? I don't want to exhaust our resources for a "milker" when there is someone who really does need the help. I do pray and try my best to follow His lead. Honestly, last night I wasn't feeling a peace about giving her money - it was only a couple of dollars. It was her attitude - like as long as she was in the car she was going to get as much as she could get. Is this my "fear" of the uncomfortable talking to me or God? Even today, I still feel a peace about not giving her money. I felt the peace in regard to giving her a ride. I felt that she was "fishing" for more when she said her car ran out of gas on the interstate. I felt a "warning bell" go off when I thought about going and getting her gas, etc.
The last time we were here, a man was begging by a stop light. We went and bought him food from a sub shop. By the time we returned, he had two other bags of food on the ground beside him. We drove off wondering if this was his full time job. I just don't want to get caught up in the emotion and miss His lead.
Sometimes it's a really tough call on what to do.

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