Generously Sow

I fed a homeless guy last night. His name was Edward.

It isn’t unusual for me to feed someone I see that might be hungry. Maybe it’s because my mamma taught me it was impolite to eat in front of others, though I don’t really know if that applied in this situation, since Edward was sitting alone on the dirty curb, and I would eat my meal at a nice clean table surrounded by a large group of people who were laughing and chatting with each other. It doesn’t really matter, but I think the reason I fed him was because God placed him in my path to feed and so I did.

A passage found at the end of Deuteronomy 24 talks about making provision for the foreigner, fatherless, and the widow from the excess we find in our own “fields”. It is just one passage out of nearly 100 found in the Bible that address our responsibility toward caring for the poor. One thing I would also like to point out, it doesn’t say those who are rich be generous. It makes a statement to us all no matter where we find ourselves economically. If you have a “field” big or small God’s talking to you.

I have found that the most generous people are actually the ones who can afford it least. I’ve seen those who had very little of their own divide and share what they had with someone else in need.

A few years ago, I worked with a small church in one of the poorest areas near my home. We ran a midweek children’s service with singing, games, and stories. At the end of the evening, we fed the children supper along with some home baked cookies. Every single time they would ask if there was enough to take home. Some refused to eat what we offered so they could carry it to a mom or dad, grandparent or sibling who was not in attendance. I can just see them running into their houses making their little offering to whoever was there, becoming givers themselves.

Giving is a simple matter really, but it’s no small thing. Even though each of us may only have the capacity to make a momentary difference in the life of one, man, woman or child—it is still worth the effort. It adds up. Most of us have more to offer than we think. A hamburger, a smile, a dollar or two, a moment of your time to give recognition. God has placed what others need in our “field” so we get to be generous and practice love. It grows us up a little more into the image of His Son who gave everything.

The feeling you get when you follow through with God’s will in your life is exhilarating and makes you want to do more, give more, love more. I can’t describe it. You just have to experience it for yourself. And in case you didn’t realize, caring for the poor is God’s will for everyone–you, me, everyone. Remember he says it nearly 100 times.

After my encounter with Edward, I thought about him all the way home and prayed for his life. Would he always be homeless? Would he someday have a wife? Children? He was a very young man. Where was his family? His parents? His siblings? Would he make it through the cold night? Would he know Jesus just a little more because someone fed him a hamburger and asked him his name? Only God knew the answers. What I do know for sure, that night, Edward’s name was in God’s ears and on His mind.

. . . whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

2 Corinthians 9:6

Old Espalier Apple Tree Grove, Bakersfield, California
Old Espalier Apple Tree Grove, Bakersfield, California

4 Comments Add yours

  1. abigailjoy15 says:

    So sweet, and so true! I like that idea, actually: It’s impolite to eat in front of others. We should always take the time and effort to seek out when we can share the blessings God has given us, even the ones as simple as food or joy. Were you able to share the Word of God with this man?

    1. Patty Schell says:

      I did not share an actual Word of God with Edward. I took my lead from God’s prompting. Perhaps it would have been too much. What I do know is I did what God had planned for that moment.

  2. I loved your post about the giving generously! So many memories filled my brain. In 1999, when I was born again at the age of 24 I was so excited to finally know what homeless people need, so I began talking to them, and taking them out to lunch, reminding them how loved they are by God and sometimes taking them out to lunch. By the grace of God, we now have homeless ministry reaching over 1000 homeless per month. Sometimes after an encounter with a homeless person, I leave wondering if it was an angel. I LOVE that you gave him a hamburger and prayed many prayers for him, God’s Word says “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat”. 🙂 Blessings!
    *I found your website through Compel website.

    1. Patty Schell says:

      Thank you for you kind words. God has put many people in my path who have so little. My kids often joked saying, “Our mom will talk to anybody.” The reality of my talking and caring for others is that my family have become compassionate and generous as well. Everyone wins when generosity is practiced.

Leave a Reply