Even in better economic times it is not unusual that I do not have money on me. I am one of those people who does not carry cash on me, nor do I carry a wallet, nor loose change. If I am ever involved in a pedestrian accident I will probably lay unidentified for weeks in an indigent care facility before anyone finds me.
Money seems to be the equalizer of humanity. I am not saying it is a correct standard, I am just saying it is the standard by which much of the world operates. When we meet someone for the first time how often do we wonder how much they are worth even before we inquire of the more important details of their life? When I meet someone, especially a man for the first time, I look for two things right away. I look to see what type of watch they are wearing. That can tell you a lot about a person. And, if I know or assume they are married and they are not wearing a wedding band, then I am initially not as trusting. Not saying that is a correct approach, just saying that is the way my brain works.
However, when I am approached by a panhandler or a member of the homeless community neither of those observations matter. Watches and wedding bands are not as important when you are interacting with someone who is sincere and truly in need. However, it is rare that I can offer them much financial assistance. It is more often than not that I try to point them toward help or hope, neither of which can be spent on excesses such as drugs or alcohol.
Peter and John obviously had the same issue with money. When they were moving around they did not carry much cash. Here is an example.
A lame man was placed in the same spot every day. He had been lame since birth. Oddly he was placed each day just outside the gates of the temple begging from those who would come and go from the house of worship. When Peter and John were entering the temple he begged of them to give him alms. The Bible says that, “Peter and John fixed their gaze on him and said, ‘Look at us’.
Here comes the cash right? No. Peter said to him, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.” From that encounter the man was told,” in the name of Christ walk” and he did.
Bring the scenario forward. Today, at most churches, if a lame beggar was placed near the main door to the beautiful facility, we would have him removed for loitering or bothering the people as they were going in to worship a God who had supplied them with health, wealth and life’s answer to the hopeless. Think about that for a second. If Peter and John were attending any modern church and the lame beggar had somehow been able to remain there, Peter would have said something to the fact, “I ain’t got no money…but…”
Look for the spiritually lame beggars. They are all around. If you are without money, that’s okay, I am too right now…then give them something better. Hope. Give them Hope.
Don’t let the lack of financial resources keep you from being God’s vessel today. If it did not stop the mighty and heroic Peter and John, why in the world should it stop any of us?