March 16, 2013 by Marshall
A few days ago I went to a mall. Next to the entrance to Chapters was a young teen. Propped up on the brick her sign read something to the effect of “Homeless and Hungry”. I nearly walked by her and into the mall, however, my mind had been changed. My hand went from door handle to wallet, and then to hers. After a few spoken words of civility, I left her still sitting in the cool air of a Canadian March, sitting on a cold slab of concrete, against a cold wall of brick.
I’ve heard people say about how going out of their way to help people makes them feel good. Countless people have spoken of how they have felt satisfied after they have committed a “good deed”. Fulfilled even.
Me? Well, sure it felt good. Did it feel as good as it could have?
It was nice to take some time out of my day and invest in someone’s life. It was nice to see her face light up. It was nice to be genuinely thanked.
But she seemed surprised that someone helped her. Surprised that someone took 20 seconds of their time to stoop and have a minor, nearly impersonal interaction. Surprised that someone would give her some rectangular piece of paper. How can I feel good about that? How can I feel satisfied, or fulfilled? How could I be proud about something so little.
So little to what could have been done. I could have sat down next to her and conversed. I could have prayed for her. I could have at least taken her to the food court and then sat down. When Jesus had a paralyzed man brought to him, he first attended to the man’s spiritual needs. Jesus saw the man’s physical needs as secondary to the man’s spiritual needs. Now, Jesus still fed 5,000 and 4,000, so he wasn’t against helping to feed people either.
So, people need people. You can be classified under both “people”, dear reader. You need people. And people need you.