My phone buzzed, I glanced down and saw this text: “Why did you give money to that man?”
It was a text from one of the young people from our church who had seen me hand four quarters to a man on the other side of the Kangaroo station gas pump. I had just finished filling up when I heard him ask, “Sir, can you add anything to this dollar?”
“I’m sorry,” I said, “I don’t have anything.” I rarely carry cash. But when I got in the car, I saw four quarters in the cup holder, left over from when I put some air in the tires. Not much, but what the heck. I got out and handed the man what I had, apologizing, “It’s not much, but here’s a few quarters.” That’s when I got the text.
She was in the car with her grandmother on the other side of the parking lot. I texted back and explained what had happened. She came back, “Ohh…you did a good deed.”
“Yep. Jesus said helping others is like helping him.” Plus a lot more, apparently. Because you never know who’s watching (and in these times someone is always watching). Something like this, which I did without even thinking, made a difference in more lives than I realized.
I’ve been in lots of discussions about who we should help and who we shouldn’t. We get frustrated when we’re taken advantage of, or when someone isn’t grateful, or by the sheer number of people who need our help. It’s good to have these discussions. But it’s also important to remember who’s watching. Like our kids. Or our friends. Or someone we didn’t see.