BUFF SCOTT, JR.
“You Will Always Have The Poor
A few weeks ago, I went grocery shopping at one of our local stores. In the first isle, I noticed a poorly-dressed lady with no make-up toward the end of the isle counting the number of items she had placed inside her food cart. She must have been about 30-35 years old.
Immediately, I got the notion she had only a certain number of dollars to spend. A few minutes later, I saw her in another isle counting her items again. Then the third time I observed the same, but this time she took a couple items out of her cart and put them back where she got them. She had no idea I was watching.
I felt then a need to do something to help her, for my heart was getting heavy just by watching her. She did not appear to be on drugs or high on alcohol but simply a poor woman who was “trying” to buy enough food to feed her children.
I walked over near her while she was counting her cart items the fourth time. I took some money out of my billfold and said to her, “Ma’am, here, please, take this money and use it to buy what you need.”
She looked surprised and replied, “No, no, I can’t do that!”
I responded, “Yes you can, I want you to take this.”
To help her feel good about accepting it, I added, “I help other people as well.”
I then took her hand, placed the money in her palm, and closed her hand. She said, “You’re about to make me cry.”
I could see her facial expression and knew she was indeed about to cry.
At that point I had to take control of my own emotions because I, too, was about to cry. She finally accepted it and I gave her a big hug. As she walked away, I felt I should give her my ID card, so I did. She looked at it, read aloud my name, and thanked me again with a big smile. I haven’t seen her since, but when and if I do, I will make it a point to inquire about her financial affairs.
At no time did I feel she was setting me up for a “hit.” She wasn’t even aware I was around until I confronted her. If she had set me up for a “hit,” I would have received a call from her by now asking for more help. That call has not arrived.
At the same store on another visit, I observed a poor-looking Asian fellow—lonely and possibly depressed. I watched him on two other occasions as well. He did not appear to be a “Street beggar.” During this visit, however, I handed him a few dollars and his face lit up like a candle. I said nothing to him except, “Please take this and spend it.”
I am not sharing this to “blow my own horn,” but to encourage others to give freely to the genuinely poor for, as Jesus said, “You will always have the poor with you.”
That you may know, I do not hand out money to just anybody. I see healthy-looking people standing on Street corners holding “sad signs” and begging for money every time I go out. They are “bums.” Never do I give them a dime. For if they are physically and mentally healthy enough to stand for hours on Street corners begging money from the pockets of hard-working taxpayers, they are well-off enough physically to find a job and go to work.
When our Lord said “you will always have the poor with you,” he was not referring Street corner hustlers.