So I've been dealing with something quite frequently here in Denver.
Honestly, I've felt annoyed and angry about this dilemma and I thought I should ask for some insight from my blogger friends.
On more than one occasion I have been approached by an individual with some sob story about how they need just a little bit of money to buy a bus ticket to their mom's funeral or cab fare to get to their sick sister, etc etc. They go on and on about how they just need a little bit more cash to get what they need and they will even have tears in their eyes sometimes. It's really hard for me to feel compassion for these individuals because I know they're lying. It angers me that they're trying to take advantage of me. We don't have a ton of money rolling in. We're trying to do the best we can living in this expensive new city, preparing for our baby boy, living off of just Alex's income. We don't have money to be giving away to every person who asks. Don't get me wrong, I believe we are so rich and so blessed and we try to be generous and give as much as we can...but I can't give money to some stranger who could or could not be telling me the truth about their sick dad on his deathbed.
This weekend I think I reached my breaking point. Alex and I stopped at an ATM to get some money to pay for our baby's crib. I waited in the car and a women approached Alex to ask for some money. Her story was outrageous and I just knew she was lying. And this is my baby's money! This is money we need so that our baby can have a place to sleep. How dare she lie to us and basically steal from our baby so she could go buy drugs or alcohol or whatever else she wants. I was outraged. Alex asked me to talk to her because with my counseling background he felt I might be able to get somewhere with her. But I was fed up. I wanted to get our money and hit the road. I didn't have time to waste. So I never spoke with her.
Once we were on the road I was overwhelmed with a feeling of guilt. She's broken...just like I'm broken. She needs love and compassion and someone to talk to. She needs the gospel. But I was too annoyed and pious to even look at her. And the whole reason we moved to this city was to share the gospel with lost people like her...but I didn't.
I'm not looking for any comments trying to make me feel better or telling me what a good person I am or anything like that. I've talked it out with Alex and I've prayed to God about it. I know He loves me no matter what and that I will fail sometimes. I'm okay with that. But what I am looking for is advice on how to deal with these situations. What is the gospel thing to do here? I know these requests for money from strangers aren't going to stop. I will be stopped on the street again and made to listen to some sob story. What should my response be? I must add that I don't always feel safe in these situations. Sometimes I'll be out walking Jaxon by myself and be stopped for money (our neighborhood isn't the best, it's a bit on the "ghetto" side with drug deals happening in the alley or on the open sidewalk) by a big man and all I want to do is get away from him. I fear for my safety or my baby's safety or even Jaxon's safety. But I don't want to be dominated by fear.
Again, any gospel advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, friends!