What Would You Do?

Consider the Poor

Psalm 41:1   Blessed is the one who considers the poor!

It was a very hot South Dakota Sunday. My wife and I with our three small children were on our way home from church when I noticed a car pulled over under an overpass on the Interstate. I clearly heard the nudging of the Holy Spirit to stop.

As I pulled up behind the mid-sized sedan, the doors were open and legs were hanging out of the sides of the car. Multiple sets of legs. As I approached, the driver, obviously the father of a large family, rose to greet me. His wife was holding a toddler in the front seat, with another child sitting beside her. Four more children were in the back seat.

I asked the man what was wrong. He said they had no air conditioning in the car and that they were almost out of gas. He had stopped in the shade of the overpass to keep his family as cool as possible while they waited for help. In the days before cell phones, he had no way of asking for help other than to wait for someone to stop. I had been assigned by the Lord to be his help.

I told him to wait there while I drove the rest of the way into the city to the nearest phone. I called the sheriff, knowing that they had a policy in our county of providing gas assistance to stranded motorists. I called the Salvation Army, because I knew they would provide an overnight stay in a local motel. I got everything done to get them out of the heat and get them the rest they needed.

When I returned home, my heart was burdened for them. I asked my wife if there was anything more we could do for them. She agreed there was. We could go beyond the minimum level of help and show them the extent of God’s love. So we took the last $32 that we had and I headed over to the motel.

As I spoke to the family, I told them about the love of Jesus, and that this gift was for them to be able to get food for the family as they continued their trip. (Remember, this is in  there was enough money there to feed the whole family two-and-a-half times at McDonald’s.) There were so grateful. The next day they left and even though I had given them my phone number so they could let me know they arrived safely, we never heard from them again.

Now for some back story that connects to this event. Two weeks earlier I had heard by phone from a former church-goer who had moved to Kansas. He wanted me to send him the cassette tapes of all the messages he missed since he moved. I packaged them all up and shipped them off. Two days after giving our last $32 to a needy family, I received a letter from Kansas thanking me for the shipment of tapes. Enclosed was a check. I had never asked him to pay for the cassettes or the shipping. The check was for $32.00.

Psalm 41:1-2   Blessed is the one who considers the poor!

 In the day of trouble the Lord delivers Him.

The Lord protects him and keeps him alive.

He is called blessed in the land.