I didn't expect this to be my next entry, but Angie and I had an interesting experience today, and would like some feedback. While at our car dealer this morning (I was getting an oil change, and we were looking for her next car) a woman came up to us in tears. She explained that she needed some assistance. Although I'm not sure of her entire story, she needed help to pay for a remaining night of lodging at a nearby motel. Apparently, she had been there for a couple of weeks, and needed to stay there one more night and needed help with that. I had asked how much it was, and she informed us about $55. In the past, I might have told her we would love to help, but couldn't and perhaps given her a couple of dollars to get her to leave us alone. However, she seemed real upset, embarrassed to be asking, and in real need. Most importantly, Angie and I have come to some decisions about helping those in need and have tried to increase our giving. The bible clearly tells us that we are to share our resources and this is how the early church survived (Acts 4:32-35). In fact, Angie and I have come to believe that God has blessed us so much financially because He wants us to share that blessing (Matthew 25:23).
We decided that we'd help her and I drove over to the motel. She explained that her boyfriend recently passed away, and that her unemployment ran out not too long ago. I paid her bill, wished her well and tried to leave. She followed me out, gave me a hug, asked God's blessing on me and Angie, and then proceeded to ask me for a little cash for something to eat. I gave it to her, and told her that we'd pray for her.
At this point, I am struggling with whether I helped someone in genuine need, or if I was taken advantage of. Did we do the right thing? Ultimately, we really won't miss $60, but I sure wish I could feel good about helping someone instead of struggling with feelings I have. What you think? Did we do the right thing? Should we have done anything differently?
Her name was Denise - pray for her. My name is Scott - pray for me!