The Official Writing Challenge
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05/14/09
"If this guy is a con-artist, God will deal with him." You ministered to me with that statement. God bless you,
05/14/09
I have been on both sides...I have given many times, like your friend, because I cannot pass by. In some cases, I have returned with a hot meal because I could not do more.

I have also been the one to need help. I have never posted a sign, or begged on a street...but I have had someone fill my car with food, pay my light bill, or spoil me with a needed haircut when my income wasn't enough to handle one more emergency.

For me, it was harder to receive such generosity than it was to give when I had little. Trust your heart and His prompting. Yes, you drove by--but you drove back...and in the process, sought Him. Those who read this will have the same opportunity. Thank you!
05/14/09
Heaps of convictions. It is such a struggle to just pass by. I've never thought of it exactly as you put it. Thanks so much for the reminder of how we, as Christians, are supposed to live.
05/15/09
I've struggled with this just like so many others have. You've done a great job of laying out both sides of this very convicting and controversial issue. Thanks for making me think about it in a new light.
05/16/09
Glad to see someone take on this subject. You wrote it in such a perfect voice...a questioning voice, considering, debating. It was not preachy, no anger, no self-righteousness. So the writing is spot on.
Now on the subject, here's my .02 worth. I always give something, as the Lord leads. I always pray for the person. It's not my job to judge the person, they are God's creation.
My husband does differently.
But, my belief is that God blesses us when we give freely, He knows our heart. It's never about the recipient's condition.
Thank you for the piece.
Mona
05/17/09
Awesome. I've had this same conversation, and not just in my head. People may call me a sucker, but I'd rather err on the side of compassion. The flow from thought to thought could be just a bit smoother, but over all a GREAT entry!
This is of particular interest to me, because my daughter's philosophy is to give to these people, and she believes as you said, "God will deal with them."

I'm a little stonier when it comes to giving handouts, but this made me think.

Well done.
Well written and thought provoking. Thanks for dealing with this topic in a time and an economy where many more may be holding up signs.
05/18/09
A very good, thoughtful take on a difficult dilemma we often face. Thanks for sharing your insights!
05/18/09
A well-written piece. As a devotional, I thought it was a bit lengthy, though. You have made many people (including me) think about this issue.
05/19/09
Your entry touches on a very real problem for Christians. I was homeless at one point for nearly a year and learned a lot about that lifestyle. Yes, for some it is a very lucrative lifestyle. They go home (in another state) after a few months of pandering to spend the rest of the year swimming in their pool and working on their antique auto collection.

But the ones who really are hurting are the ones we don't want to overlook. You can't help them if you don't see them... and most Christians, unfortunately, don't even look.
Thank you for writing this. It is well done and made me think.

I have more of a tendency to want to give to them, but I don't because we (my husband and I) don't want to just give money and most of the time we've thought they were con artists. The other day, however, I drove by a man who was standing on the corner coming out of Wal-mart and the Lord spoke very clearly to me to give him some food I had just purchased. The light stayed red long enough for me to do so. It was a good feeling to be able to give to him.

Thank you again, for your take on this topic.
05/19/09
Well written and challenging. Scripturally sound with lessons we should all heed. I really like these sort of stories/articles - Thank you very much for a most meaningful piece.

Colin
05/20/09
Oh Connie - spot on. Extremely well crafted with good flow. Just enough lesson, challenge and call to action - a message that NEEDS to be said. I especially like the end. Thank you, thank you for writing this.
This was very convicting and well-written. The subject is one close to my heart. Thank you, Connie.
Blessings,
Patty
I enjoyed this as well. You are speaking for those who can't speak for themselves! I love the title and can personally relate. Only I know, the disregarded are not always on the street behind a sign. Those often have a "family" and tight community. But the disregarded can be behind you in the pew on Sunday - a person devastated by a spouse's adultery and then divorce, exasperated by destitution, homelessness, loss of friends (who remained loyal to the wandering spouse), the pain of only being able to provide the simplest necessities for their child. A simple invite to Sunday dinner or lunch at MacDonalds could mean the world!!