Saturday, August 25, 2012


Son, defraud not the poor of alms, and turn not away thy eyes from the poor.  Despise not the hungry soul: and provoke not the poor in his want.  Afflict not the heart of the needy, and defer not to give to him that is in distress.  Reject not the petition of the afflicted: and turn not away thy face from the needy.  Turn not away thy eyes from the poor for fear of anger: and leave not to them that ask of thee to curse thee behind thy back.  For the prayer of him that curseth thee in the bitterness of his soul, shall be heard, for He that made him will hear him.  -- Sirach 4:1-6
I feel torn by panhandlers.  God has been exceptionally good to me, and I know I have a responsibility to help those in need when I can.  On the other hand, I know that giving cash may in many cases be quite the opposite of giving help.  When I can, I prefer to give a gift card to a supermarket (but that may be used to buy alcohol around here) or a fast-food restaurant.  I'm not ultimately responsible for making sure the alms are spent wisely, let alone in a Spartan fashion, but I think I should use some sense.  Any other suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. There was a news story about 3 or 4 years ago in Toronto about a woman who regularly panhandled and lived in a luxury home. SHe saw it as her job - tax free- and financed quite the lifestyle with it. I realize this woman is the exception and not the rule but it has given a lot of panhandlers a bad name. I give money to a charity and at times, I give a buck or two to the inidividual...