I stopped for gas on my way back to the hotel after a long day of work. As I was filling my tank, a man walked up to me and asked if I could spare a few dollars to get some food. I normally don’t carry cash as a principle and told him that I had none with me. We talked for a couple minutes while he surveyed the other patrons pulling into the station and he then asked if I could give me a ride to the next station down the road. I gladly obliged and he got in.
As I was driving the few blocks, he let me know that he and his wife were out of work and that he was just trying to get a few bucks to get them some hamburgers. Somehow, my tired mind clicked and I offered to take him to the nearest fast food restaurant and pay for whatever he wanted to get for himself and his family, but he declined saying that he didn’t know what she wanted and that he would have to go home and ask before he could get something. He then asked me to pull over at the IHOP we were passing and, after thanking me for the short ride, got out and went his way.
I sit here in the hotel room reflecting on this encounter. Did I do the right thing? Did I do enough? As an afterthought, I would have driven him to the nearest grocery store and bought his family enough food for a week, but was that what he really wanted? Was he lying to me about what he wanted the money for?
I have two prayers:
If he was dishonest with me, I forgive him and pray that he will allow someone to genuinely help him.