Give to everyone who asks you… Luke 6:30 (NIV)
Some of Jesus’ sayings are hard to understand; others are harder to do. Occasionally, I struggle with the latter, thinking that perhaps Jesus doesn’t really mean what he says…
I had just rolled my cart into the parking lot and was filling my trunk with plants when she approached.
“Ma’am, I need to get home to Corpus Christi,” she said.
I listened, wondering what that had to do with me.
“My husband and I had a fight, and I left him and the children. But I know I need to go back,” she elaborated. “Can you give me money for a bus ticket?”
Quickly, I processed what I was hearing. She says she made a mistake and needs to get home to her family to straighten things out. But what if she’s scamming me and wants the money for drugs or something else? But Jesus told us to reach out generously. BUT WHAT IF… I argued with myself in the milli-seconds as I stood listening.
“You need a bus ticket to get back to Corpus?” I repeated.
“Yes,” was the hopeful response.
After a mental struggle I found myself shifting into automatic, and a voice inside said, “You wait here, and I’ll go to the bus station and buy your ticket.” Caution had been thrown to the wind. If necessary, I would err on the side of foolish generosity. I closed the lid of the trunk and walked around to the driver’s door.
“Ma’am,” she stopped me. I turned to listen. “I’m lying to you. I just want a drink, and I don’t have any money.”
With that we began a short conversation about the help that was available to her. “I know someone who can work with you and who would walk with you through this,” I offered.
“I’m not ready,” she responded, letting me know the conversation was over.
“What’s your name? At least I can pray.”
She looked up sadly and gave me a sweet smile, “Lanae.” And then she left me.
Lord, do not let fear keep me from obeying your commandments. Remind me that YOU will keep me from harm while I follow you. And, Lord, heal Lanae. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.