I Enabled Some Homeless People Today!!!

I make it a practice to NOT brag about my giving.  Not that I never do it, and certainly when I do it, I use a pseudonym so as to minimize the self-aggrandizement.  But today I gave some coats and blankets to some homeless people in the park.  This just before the next cold snap sets in tonight.

The thing that prompts my post tonight, though, is that I am so pleased to say I ENABLED these nice people with my giving!  Yes, I ENABLED THEM.  They are now ENABLED to keep warm – warmer than they would have been, especially since two of them had no kind of coat or outer covering at all.

But I was warned just a few minutes before I gave them away not to give them to people who don’t really need them.  (Yeah, and it was a fellow needy person who warned me.  (Jealous???))  Some of these bums, it is said, will sell them instead of keep them.  And being duly warned, I promptly gave them to the people I met a few minutes later in the park.

Now… I could have quizzed them, I guess.

Me: “You do really NEED this coat, right?  You aren’t gonna run down the street and sell it, get some money and buy dope are you???”

Them:  “Ahhh… No sa, Massah.  We not gonna sell dem coats fa dope.  No sa!  No.  We really need dem.”

Me:  “Whew!  Good.  Cuz I was warned not to give them to the undeserving kind of needy people!  I am so glad you aren’t like that.”

Yeah.  I am sure that would settle it.

Of course I could, conceivably, take these coats down to Lubbock’s Premier Homeless Pseudo “Church” (not it’s real name) and let the professionals hand them out to the good needy people.  But no.  No, those are the folks who banned me from the premises when I insisted that we keep the door open on cold winter nights to let these needy people in.  So, really, that wouldn’t work on two counts: 1) I am not welcome there to begin with, and 2) I don’t think keeping people warm is their real priority anyway.

So, I just TRUSTED that these coats would meet the needs of some obviously needy people.  (Actually, I know one of these people personally already, and whether she would sell it or use it or give it to someone in worse need, I cannot say.  But I know her to be needy either way.)  Oh, and they were grateful, thanking me over and over.

And so I gave to Jesus clothes when he was naked.  I did that.  And it ENABLES the poor to the chagrin of my white, middle-class, church friends.  But SO WHAT?  I care far more about what Jesus says than what they say – especially when they contradict!

Thus I brag on it.  I want my church friends to know that I ENABLED some cold people today with needed coats.

Oh, and while I was with them, they repeatedly asked me when I would come back to party with them on the streets.  (I have responsibilities with foster babies that precludes me from doing this much, but I do when I can.)  And that lets me know that they remember the RELATIONSHIP they have with me, the friend that points them to Jesus with a worship celebration of HIS IMAGE that THEY BEAR whether they sell the coats or keep them.

I hope that in bragging on this, some of my white, middle-class, church friends will rethink all their rethinking about charity and just seek shalom without stopping the meeting of needs (as if that makes any sense).

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12 comments

  1. T. F. Thompson · February 21

    Agent X
    I dare say that Jesus is perhaps the greatest enabler ever. He loves and cures us in spite of the fact that we are not worthy. In other words, even though we are guilty as sin (pardon the expression), he loves us anyway and gives His greatest gift, salvation through grace.
    Yes, yes of course, I miss the point. We are to give only to the good guys, the worthy ones. That would be the cute or pretty ones or the smart and educated ones, perhaps. Maybe not.
    I suppose too, Jesus should not forgive all that ask, but only the worthy ones: the good guys. As you already know, the ugly guys don’t count. The bums and hobos and drunks and druggies are going to hell anyway, so we don’t need to honor them even though at the moment there represent CHRIST Jesus, our LORD.
    So then, we should pray that the good guys like all the others should never ever receive say a donut. That is bad for them and we all know heart attacks are the number one killer in the U.S. caused mostly from obesity and bad foods. No, we don’t want to enable church people to die from eating bad foods. God should withhold His hand from that and autos too: autos kill over 40,000 Americans a year. He can’t be part of that.
    Oh, but back to the homeless rift-raft people. Sure, screw them for they are probably going to die soon anyway. Save that Jacket or Coat as they will sell it for some crack or worse. Never mind the fact that Jesus said to give him also your cloak, but that doesn’t count as naturally, Jesus wasn’t really serious. Of course, he wasn’t. But we ALL know Jesus wouldn’t just throw his talents or money around. He’d save His resources for those who deserve it. And in the end, He would have it all and He would have it all as NONE deserve His mercy. NONE. And in like manner, we should save all our resources as no one would ever meet the criteria either for none are truly worthy of the mercy of God. God help us all. Amen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · February 21

      I can’t think of any instance where Jesus sorts out the needy into those deserving of his care and others needing to not be harmed by his care. The one exception, if we can call it that, is the Syrophoenician woman who pleads that he help her daughter. Jesus calls her a “dog”. It would seem he is making a racial epithet and withholding his care based on race. However when she humbles herself in the face of this crass reaction, he not only heals her, but he proclaims he has not found such faith even among his own people. So, actually he winds up praising her!

      This exception does not represent the worry about ENABLING that my class would have me to worry about. It is different in nature at multiple levels. But it is the exception that comes to my mind, even though it is entirely different. (Would Jesus have us withhold charity based on racism???)

      On the other hand, I see undeserving people who are completely unworthy finding the grace of God starting on page two and running through every page of the whole Bible. People who not only don’t deserve his charity, but who squander it once they receive it! And I mean time and time and time again. I see God/Jesus/Moses/whoever getting frustrated with this a lot, but always showing patience anyway.

      I mean God and Moe might be working out the 10 commandments on stone tablets while at the same time the very people he just brought out of Egypt are down the hill making a golden calf! I mean… talk about a waste of charity! And YEAH! God gets upset about it, but do you think God didn’t see it coming? Do you think God decided right then that from now on he is not going to be anybody’s sucka? Do you think God did not ENABLE them after that?

      Go look at the story of the Prodigal Son… a story Jesus tells that represents God’s relationship with Israel. The son comes to the Father asking for his inheritance in advance of the Father’s death. He effectively says, “I wish you were dead. Can I have my money, NOW?” And what does the Father do? He says, “No, son. If I give you that money now, it will ENABLE you to use it unwisely, and you will end up eating pig food in a foreign land. So, NO.”

      Oops.

      No. That is now how the story goes. Is it?

      No. According to Jesus, the Father gives the inheritance to the boy and then greviously waits for the boy to return. And when the boy returns, he throws a PARTY! And then the story makes an ugly twist where the older brother refuses to join the party!!!! The older brother is upset about the offensive way God gives charity to this undeserving kid!

      Now… in this story, who is my Bible class keeping company with?

      Liked by 1 person

      • T. F. Thompson · February 21

        Matthew 6:31-32—“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? For all these things the Gentiles are anxiously seeking. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

        So othen, does he also give it to the unworthy, to the bums and hobs and others or only those GOOD folks who already have it. In fact, I’d dare say they didn’t even ask God for their things daily as we are supposed to do. And they are worthy?

        Liked by 1 person

      • T. F. Thompson · February 21

        See below an excerpt from today’s paper here in Jacksonville. Some want an amendment for yep. DOGS. Not people and I’m not saying dogs should not be protected. I’m saying no one wants an amendment to protect homeless PEOPLE. Dogs come first if only Dogs.

        At the University of North Florida, the Constitution Revision Commission, a once-every-20-years agency that proposes changes to the state constitution, met to hear comments from the public on 37 proposed amendments. Hour after hour, people stood up to opine about guns and abortion and tobacco.

        But perhaps no initiative drew as many people as one that would ban gambling on greyhound races. People shared story after story of their experiences going to the dog tracks, adopting former race dogs and the horrors that some of those dogs have f

        Like

      • Agent X · February 21

        see also Matt 5:45
        For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

        hmmm

        and then run over to Luke 6 to see the way he twists this same sermon around so that you cant tell if Jesus is talking about “enemies” or the poor and needy. For in that sermon, the blessings are flanked with curses, one of which says Woe to the RICH!

        Hmmm….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Fat Beggars enable the Homeless (Arrest that man) Agent X strikes again – Hard Times Ministries
  3. Pastor Randy · February 21

    Great Kingdom Story! I would say “It’s amazing how many Tenured Pew Sitters believe you only help those worthy of our help”, but it would be more accurate for me to say, “It’s DISGUSTING how many Tenured Pew Sitters believe you only help those worthy of our help!” Keep fighting the good fight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · February 21

      Thanx, Pastor Randy, for your encouragement and support.

      I sense this will seem like I am splitting hairs, especially since that is what I am about to do, but I want to take care not to misrepresent my white, middle-class, church friends. (Always a possibility even when taking care not to…)

      I don’t think they would say they only help those worthy of our help. (Though the functionality is hardly any different.) I think they want to NOT DO HARM by giving. They see giving, as Jesus instructs it, as naïve and enabling of bad behavior. (I don’t argue against that, actually. I think it does enable bad behavior. It enables CHOICE, which often manifests in bad behavior… (got kids?))

      Anyway, these same people will want to help still. They will just want to be all smart about it. And they think they can engineer what even God has not. They think if I have a RELATIONSHIP with these people that it will inhibit the enabling. They want me to worry about their “dignity” aka PRIDE. They worry that if I just give the coats away to the undeserving needy, that it will create DEPENDENCE – which I see as a good thing.

      I don’t think they can iron out these wrinkles. Even God doesn’t. And if he doesn’t, then what makes us think we can?

      I could go on and on chasing all the directions this goes, but you could just read a couple dozen posts here and get the idea of all of them. But I want to distinguish with you, in case I have muddied this water on this point, that my church friends are not against helping in some sense. But they fear that my giving ENABLES the poor, which I believe it does. I just think that is not our concern and they do. Thus I am criticized for giving in this way.

      This is not a matter of people simply looking down their noses and writing the needy off. No. This is a matter of charitable people thinking I need to engineer my response to be “effective”. A directive I do not find in Jesus at all. An ideal I do not find in the Bible. And I think this bites them in their own butt, actually, because in my experience this way of thinking has closed doors and left needy people outside in the freezing winter cold at night… right on the church house steps no less. And at that level, there is no functional difference.

      Thus I fight the good fight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pastor Randy · February 21

        You are so right…it is a balancing act….sometimes helping does hurt…..but helping based only on be worthy, well, that would have excluded me from God’s grace.

        Like

  4. Michael Wilson · February 21

    Thanks for giving Jesus a coat. “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was naked, and you clothed Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see naked, and clothe You? ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

    I appreciate your faithfulness in getting the word out. Jesus came to minister to the sick not the well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · February 21

      Amen!

      I couldn’t say it better.

      Yes. I am thrilled to have given those coats. It is 23 degrees this morning!

      I did not mention in the post (because I fear drawing scorn on myself for it) that I had a benefactor who donated the coats to Fat Beggars. Normally I would publish his name. Matthew 6 in no way prohibits me thanking the donor publically, it merely prohibits him from tooting his own horn (the thing I am doing – and mitigating with a pseudonym). But I don’t know if, under these circumstances, I would be doing him a favor.

      But really, my readers here should know that an anonymous benefactor stepped up for this. And I am grateful to that person too.

      But yes, we just honored Jesus and served him without all the WORRY about ENABLING. I think God can sort that out.

      Thanx for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael Wilson · February 21

        Well then … thanks to both of you for giving Jesus a coat.

        As a side note, I have begun to notice that Jesus directs us to give to the poor directly. No mention of give to the church (or a nonprofit) so the can give to the poor. Just a curiosity.

        Be blessed.

        Like

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