Was he an angel?
The last few days have left me questioning something about myself. It may get a little lengthy, so I pray you stick with me. ;-)
The last few times my family and I have gone to Wal Mart we saw something we have not seen in our little town before. We saw a homeless person with a sign. Now, this is not a new experience for us, unfortunately. In the large town/city near us it is seen quite frequently, but just not here.
The sign said, "Homeless Veteran..." We were not in a position to be able to stop (wrong lane, traffic, etc.) So, we didn't do anything that day.
I went back to the store yesterday, and there he was sitting on the same corner, with his sign. I was able to read more of it this time. It said, "Homeless Veteran. Will work for $7 and hour or food." I started to stop, again, but something inside me said not to. Why? I have always helped people before. If I had money I would give, we always put money in the Salvation Army can, I help with collections, food drives, etc. So, why was I questioning whether or not to stop for this man?
Have I become so cynical about safety that I am afraid to help when it becomes "personal?" I don't know.
I questioned myself all the way to my next errand. I then decided that, that man could actually be an angel. Maybe he was sent to see just how much we are willing to help. Maybe he was sent for someone specific. Maybe me. The Bible says in Matthew 25:40 " And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
So, I decided, I would go back and "hire" him to rake our yard. I had $15, I could have him do whatever he could in 2 hours, and we would also feed him lunch and give him a basket of food/fruit. I also planned to call the head of ministries at our church to see what we could do about getting this man some shelter. I called my brother and sister to make sure it was OK with them because, after all, this man would then know where we lived. I still wanted to have faith, but that was being distorted (if that's a good word) by needing to be safety conscious in this day and age.
They said it was OK. So, I went home, got the money and my Mom (because my brother did not want me to pick up the man alone.) We went to the place where we had seen him the last couple of days, and where I had seen him not an hour earlier. I prayed on the way, telling God that if this is what He wanted me to do then the man would be there.
He was not there. We ran some errands and came back. Again, he was not there. An hour or so later we went out again. He was not there.
Today I went back to the store, and checked the place on the way in and on the way out. He was not there. So, my question I keep asking is "Did I miss an opportunity to help a fellow human being/possible Angel in disguise, or did God protect me from making a huge mistake by not letting the man be there?" I don't know. In a weird way I feel a "relief", "comfort" that I have been spared from something, but then I feel a little guilty for not helping.
I don't ever want to become cynical or too cautious to the point that I will refuse to help a person in need. I know I would want someone to help me if I were in that position. How do ya'll handle situations like that?