Monday, June 30, 2008

A personal struggle


So I went to El Pollo Loco the other day for lunch. (LOVE their chicken tostada salads!) As I was sitting in my nice air-conditioned car, I was grabbing my purse and on my way getting out of my car when I looked up and saw a woman approaching. She was dressed nicely, had a smile on her face and was looking directly at me and motioning me to her. At first I thought that she must know me from somewhere. And then I recognized her. I actually have been approached by her once before asking me for money. And this time just like last time, she was so darn nice about it! She called me honey and sweetie and wanted to know if I could give her some money so she could get something to eat. Well, here we were standing right in front of the door to El Pollo Loco. So I told her that if she would come inside with me that I would be HAPPY to buy her something to eat. She then politely declined and said that she actually had something to eat just a little while ago, but that she needed cash because she was out of money and her food stamps weren't coming until the end of the week.

Sometimes I have a hard time with this.

Where I work is not the nicest part of town. I get approached for money on a fairly regular basis. So here is where I struggle. Sometimes I get irritated because I feel, especially in this situation, that the person isn't really in need. I mean, she actually kind of lied to me and said she needed money to buy food, but after I offered, she changed her story. And I work hard for my money and sometimes I want to tell them - Go get a job! And I think poorly of them.

And then...

I remember the scripture Mosiah 4:17-19 and worry that I fall into this group.

"Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just - But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?"

Here are some of my notes that I have written in my scriptures about this scripture:

"Our attitude and actions towards those whom we are in a position to help will in great measure determine how we are treated on Judgement Day." David Ridges

-and-

What are the things that WE beg for?

So I guess mine isn't to be the "judge" of another's need, but to be willing to give when I can. I know that when we give to another, that the Lord blesses us. And whether or not the person is truly in need is for the Lord to decide and that is their part of being held accountable.

But still I struggle.....

16 comments:

Jan said...

I have never ever thought of that before. About what do we beg for. Oh my gosh that has me thinking. I have the same feelings when it comes to being approached for money. I have a great story about just this and how prayer works in situations like that. I think I'll post about it.

We really can not be the ones to make the final decision of who really needs it and who doesn't. We just be and do the best we can. I have not given though when the spirit tells me. But that isn't always the case either.

I really enjoyed this post. I learned something really new, and I love that. Thanks.

Jan

Dolly said...

I felt the same way about people begging for food or money, till I went to a money management class here at the library. The lady teaching has her own web-site and is quite wealthy after teaching for years. She told us that money has a cycle: one of the places it needs to go is towards donations-before it comes back to us! When it completes this cycle, it doesn't matter who you hand it to(out of the family) it will return again. Her web-page is- www.smartcentsinc.com She has a category for tithing too. I love her book because it makes sense :)

Jennifer H said...

We've had this debate in Sunday School before. Those exact points you posted about came up.
We all determined that it wasn't for us to decide. If your 1st reaction is to "give", then give. If your 1st reaction gives you a feeling of coldness, don't. We don't have to "give" to everyone who asks.
Great post.

*Merrianne* said...

I know what you mean. I would say something like I will meet you here in a little while with some canned goods or something like that & see what she says.

She probably wants money for drugs, cigarettes, or alchohol.

But if you do what you can ((in the FOOD department)) and she declines, then you know you tried & your concience can be clear.

Don't feel bad or guilty....

Montana said...

I feel the same way, and then I think, wait what I am I going to eat for dinner, and then I politely walk away while pretending like I don't hear them. Ok, ok I'm not that heartless. We really don't have any beggars in Provo, they must know us college students really don't have money!

Montana said...

The above comment was from your daughter Brittany. She just forgets to log out of her hubby's blog.

Spencer said...

i like el pollo loco...i like the chicken burritos!

yeah, and if she ain't gonna get no food then tell her SEE YA!

Mechelle said...

We do begger bags. I wrote a list out for all the phone number of the local food banks, shelters and assistance available and put that list in the bag with food. We keep the bag in the car and when someone is in need, we hand them out. It is great to do for family home evening. I will post about this further on my blog. Thanks for the great post.

PS I am with you and Spencer. El Pollo Loco rocks. M

Stephanie said...

I saw your comment on Jan's blog and came to see yours.
We had a wonderful Bishop(dEWEY)
He worked in downtown Chicago. He was oftened approached by beggars. He would never leave anyone hungry. However he never gave money. He said when he did they would buy alchohol or drugs. So I agree if she really didn't want to be fed than You did the good deed of offering.

Grandma J said...

Cool thoughts here, Deb you really get us thinknig! Darn you...I'm on vacation! I love the idea of the beggar bags, maybe Jer & I will make a couple of those to carry with us.

Joseph and Brittany said...

Debbie its Brittany (long) Asay! I am so glad I came across your blog. Ok I have to say every tome I make chocolate chip pancakes I think of you. I miss you! It seems like it has been so long.

Brittany

*Merrianne* said...

♥Have A Happy 4th Of July♥

craigandlissa said...

DEBBIE! I was so happy to find your comment on my blog this morning! It has been crazy and I'm so far behind on that blog! Ben's wife, Jamie, is here visiting for a few weeks so she can get me started.(I am very technically challenged, my girls have to help me with my blog. . . ) I also just called to primary and it has been a fun change. The grandchildren are the most fun I've ever had. And their parents are just as adorable! It just keeps getting better all the time.
Love ya to pieces, Lissa

Clark and Kristen Daniels said...

ALOHA DEB! Your the best I love reading your blogs! I am still blog illiterate but slowly I am working on it! Thanks for the comments!

Tammy said...

I know what you mean!!! I struggle with it everytime I get. What I have finally decided is that I am accountable for my choices, not for their choices. I do give money occasionally. What they choose to do with it is their choice. You acted correctly. Unfortunately, they don't always choose wisely, but at least you can lay your head down knowing that you tried your best.

da Bergs said...

I always love reading your blog!!! I am home! and glad to be in the blog world again!!!

Have you heard any new news on Laci???
Love ya!

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