Elder, David “Doc” Kenser, shares a daily devotion and reflection.
One day when going up to the Temple, Peter and John came upon a lame man who begged them for money. Like Jesus, who had no place to lay his head, his disciples had no money. Instead of just saying, “Sorry, we don’t have any money to give you,” Peter replied, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6).
While the man did not receive what he had asked for, he did not go away empty-handed. In fact, what he recieved was worth more than silver or gold, much more. Sometimes what people ask for is not what they really need, it is simply what they know to ask for. If they knew better, they might ask for a hand up instead of a hand out or a word of God instead of coin of the realm.
Sometimes, what people ask for is simply not something you have to give. You have a decision as to whether to pass on by or offer them something else. Perhaps you could direct them to a shelter if you don’t have the money to put them up for the night. You might give them your lunch, taking the opportunity to fast and pray for them while allowing them to have nourishment.
Maybe, not having whatever you are asked, you could just stop and take the time to hear their story, express your concern, pray with them, giving them the gift of dignity and compassion. Perhaps you can share your witness to them and tell what Christ has done for you. Rather then just ignore the or preach at them, you can actually reach out to them and truly share what you have.
The gift of your time, your listening ear, your kind words, your message of hope – these gifts are much more valuable than money and may be what one is truly hungering for. I’m not discounting the gift of food or housing or money, these all are true gifts and may be what is called for at the moment, and you may be in the position to grant them. But when not, why not offer the gift that you have to offer at the moment? Jus’ Ask’n.