Saturday, February 11, 2006

Interruption for Denise

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!



bob said...

You never know for sure...Angels unaware...Hebrews 13:2 God's up to something with you.


Scott Lessard said...

Thanks, Bob. Verse helped a lot!

Paul Lessard said...

i don't know, i think things like that are on a case by case basis. simply because i really don't agree with what you did but at times i guess we all want to help a little.

being a new yorker i've seen and heard some stories, as have you. it was probably bullshit and she's gonna end up spending the cashlockh on crack rock. in which case your generous and religious offering did quite the opposite, didn't help. we all have our own problems and dealing with a strangers isn't your responsibility. it's all a numbers game and people are gonna suffer no matter what. you can't change that by giving some crackhead that you don't know sixty dollars. instead focus on those closer to you, that have more relevance in YOUR life, like your nephew for instance.

but shit happens and dealing with it either kills us or makes us stronger. if she can't survive then its her problem, not yours.

i'll be expecting my check in the mail. ;O)

and dayumn we got a lot of snow.

Anonymous said...

Working as I do in NYC, I have plenty (plenty plenty plenty) of opportunites to be tested on this very same issue. I go back and forth depending on 1) my financial status at that very instant; 2) my mood; 3) can't think of a third but I'm sure there is one.....

BOTTOM LINE, my personal philosophy is if you meant well and gave freely, that money will eventually find it's way to someone or some cause where it's needed. God will know what to do with it.

PS - you are FREAKING ME OUT some with all of this church stuff!!!

yr cuz, Jill

Anonymous said...

Things happen for a reason, maybe she was the real thing or maybe she was full of it. If you keep thinking about it you might second guess yourself in the future. If she was conning you, what comes around goes around and she will get hers in the end. She will answer to God, but if not then every night there is one more prayer out there for the nice couple who help her eat one more night. Angels are diguised in many ways, some like her and some like you and Angie.
I also have to agree with are freakin me out with all this God talk!!! Love You Jeanine

Anonymous said...

What can I say. I have given many a meal out to people who seem to really be in need. Maybe, because I am fro NY I'm alittle more doubtful of people motives, but Ive always said to be out a few dollars and maybe actually have helped someone in need (even if only one out of 10) is well worth it. I have to admit though there are some stories that I've heard from different people in different areas. I actually saw a show once about a school that teaches how to play on people (because all are basically good). The part about your story that throws me off, is that after her sincere apreciation for what you did she adked for more. That I have a problem with. I never gave as much at one time as you did, ad have to admit probably never will, a few dollars or a meal is about the most I've given, but I do feel one sure way to give back and help the needy is to give of yourself. Our time is so much more valuable and precious, and it is a guarantee that what we are giveing is being utilized how and where it's suppose to be. No matter what the real story is with this woman, God will bless you. Becareful though, I don't think He admires fools. Remember what you did may have made a needy person thankful and appreciative, but it also could have encouraged a con artist. Her story really is a little too coincidental, the one night she owed money she was fortunate to find a kind person, her boyfriend just recently left and she just ran out of money and then she asks for more - her credibility is definitely questionable. Most people want to be kind and help someone in need, it doesn't have to be money. I don't know if Texas has the same programs as NY, but there are social services that help, there is away. Some people choose not to use these services, some don't try, and some take advantage. Some just lie.
Once, shame on her, twice - shame on you.