On August 27, 2009, I will celebrate my NINTH anniversary of being a "Chicagoan." It has been quite the ride...to say the least. It has been an education--that I would have not acquired any other way....
It is just a "normal day's routine" to pass five, ten, twenty people who are asking for money, making claims of being homeless or hungry or both. I usually just walk on by.....and have done so for many years....with a few nonmemorable exceptions.
However, last Sunday evening, I was in Millenium Park for the FREE concert by the United States Coast Guard. I had stopped by the local SUBWAY sandwich shop, and taken advantage of the $5.00 footlongs (love those things!) so I could have something to eat before the concert.
I only ate half of my sandwich, putting the remaining half in the backpack...fully intending to take it home, and eat it for breakfast Monday morning.
As I was leaving the concert, I saw a man sitting on the sidewalk, holding a sign saying he was hungry. This time, completely out of character for me, I stopped, and gave him the half sandwich. I told him that it was good, that it was somewhat fresh, and that if he were really hungry that he should eat it.
I'm wondering what he did with the other half of that sandwich. I'm wondering if he really ate it, or just throw it away as soon as I got out of eye sight.
I've bought people food before, and watched them throw it in the garbage can as soon as I got out of eye-sight from them. Most of them never knew I was watching them...until I confronted them.
I know what Jesus said about feeding the poor, and clothing the naked, and tending to prisoners....but what about the "abuses"? That part still bothers me...