Sunday, January 31, 2010

Carl Jones- Getaway Driver

Springfield Friends Meeting is located in a neighborhood very near some financially depressed areas of High Point.  I mentioned in yesterday's post that our secretary, Millie Simmons, often had to deal with with homeless and jobless people who would come to the church looking for financial help.  We had a fund from which we could pay electric bills and help with rent, and sometimes we had vouchers for local grocery stores.   And we would always recommend that they visit Our Father's Table, the feeding arm of High Point Urban Ministries, for a hot lunch.  Most of the folks who dropped by were grateful for whatever we could do.  We felt we were doing the work of Jesus, and we tried to help everyone.  If people were abusing us, that would be something they would have to answer to God for...

One day a young man had stopped by for assistance.  I chatted with him for a while as Millie secured a check to help him with his utility bill.  He asked to see the church, so I walked him around and showed him the entire building before taking him back up to the office. I told him about lunch at Our Father's Table, and he said he would like to go but that he needed a ride.  I told him I would take him, just to give me a few minutes.  He excused himself and went to the restroom, then returned to the office to get his check.  I met him there, and he gathered his bag and his boom-box and we drove downtown.  I commented as we got in the car that his boom-box looked a lot like the one we had in our Youth Room.  I dropped him off and went on with my day, feeling good about helping this nice young man.

Later that afternoon I went down to the Youth Room to get something, and of course (as you have no doubt guessed by now) discovered that his boom-box didn't just look like ours- it WAS ours!  He had stolen it right in front of me, and better yet, I had drive he getaway car!  You don't get many chances in life to feel that stupid. 

Jesus calls on us to help the poor and the under-resourced peoples of our communities.  He calls on us to love everyone, even our enemies.  How they respond to us, what they do with our love and support, is not our problem.  We have to leave that in the hands of God.  But driving the getaway car may be going beyond the call of duty!

Because of Jesus,


  1. Just my opinion here! Christians need to think beyond just giving because someone is in need. God wants us to be careful in choosing the conditions under which we give instead of just giving. Some (not all) needy people are needy because they do not spend their money wisely, don't know how to budget, could do something about their circumstances but don't, etc. Before a church gives money to those who need it, a knowledgeable person in the congregation needs to counsel with them on handling finances. People need to be held accountable; we are not helping people by not holding them accountable. We may actually be enabling/encouraging people to spend money unwisely, make poor choices, etc. Chances are, this cycle will continue to repeat itself. And we, ourselves, are not using God's money wisely if we give it away without some conditions of accountability.

  2. I hear and understand your point, Ilene. And when we speak in terms of long range help, you are right. But in the short term, we have to do what Jesus tells us to do. And Jesus said more about taking care of the poor than any other single subject. Thanks for sharing and God bless!

  3. Anonymous2/08/2010

    What a great resource!


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