Subject: Angels at Traffic Stops

Dear Ethan & Emily:

For most of my adult life, I have walked or driven by those individuals who stand (or sit) on traffic corners or at traffic stops.  I guess I felt that since I couldn’t determine which ones were in genuine need and which were not, I felt I was OK in making sure that my locks were set, the window up, and that I sped by without looking!  And, of course, I felt better recalling articles I have read about some of these individuals who, in fact, make high incomes not working and have worked out every detail in their “job” of asking others to support them in their laziness.  And, besides…all these people do, even if they are in genuine need, is to use the money to buy liquor!

But, several years ago, my thought on this began to change.  As I read my Bible, I was astounded by how often God addresses the plight of the genuine poor and needy…and our responsibility to care for them.  the list is just too numerous to mention them in this morning devotion, but do a chain study on this sometimes.  You will be amazed.

In fact, one of the items Moses actually “commanded” the Israelites before they entered their new land of Canaan was this very topic:  “”Give freely without begrudging it, and the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.  There will always be some among you who are poor.  That is why I am ‘commanding’ you to share your resources freely with the poor and with any other Israelites in need.”  (Deut. 15: 10 – 11)

I think that is pretty plain.  Jesus in talking with His disciples as He sent them forth for ministry told them:  “If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I assure you, that person will be rewarded.” (Mark 9: 41)

And, never forget that amazing passage in Hebrews 13: 2 – 3 where the writer tells us:  “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!  Don’t forget about those in prison.”

I suppose this is why the Angel Tree Ministry has always had appeal for me, and I remember some great times in Target buying Christmas gifts for these children of prisoners.

But because some of those in need at traffic stops and other places might not know how to handle money properly and actually just may use it for liquor or other things, I now use McDonald’s food coupons as handouts.  I keep a supply in both cars, so I have some handy when needed.  Food is always “in style” and useful…and sharing food (our food certificates) is a blessed thing to do:  “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” (Proverbs 22: 9)

So, I would tell you:  “Don’t make fun or try to figure out who on street corners or at traffic stops is genuine…and who is not.  So what is you are “ripped off” every now and then.  Share something with them as you pass, and perhaps you will be blessed as you may have just seen the face or touched the hand of an angel!”

Have a wonderful day,