A guy can only do so much, but after six years of seeing and responding in small ways to the beggars on the streets, I am thankful that my heart has not yet hardened to their plight. If only I could do more!
The boys and I were coming home on the metro the other day, and as I often do, I give them money when I see someone begging for money to teach them to be responsive to the needs around them. This time, I stopped as well when I recognized the woman. She was a short, frail old lady of at least 80. She reached out to us with such a softness and sincerity of thanks, that I had to engage further. I asked if she had been coming for long, as I seemed to know her face. She replied, “Oh yes, you do recognize me.” Her eyes turned red, and she related that her grandson had become orphaned, and she was left having to take care of him, and no means to do so other than begging. Beggars aren’t usually homeless here, thanks to a long history from Soviet times of giving out housing. But pensions are intolerably low. She may be getting as little as $100 – $150 a month.
We chatted for a few minutes, and she placed her soft hands on mine, thanking me for my care. I asked to pray for her, but she wanted to pray for me. So we swapped names, and she teared up some more. Hers is Eugenia.
My dream for some time has been to have a church group come over for a week or two and adopt someone like this, shower them with love, help out around the home, and connect them with a caring body of believers for follow-up. A guy can only do so much. At least Someone else has their backs:
“The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” Ps. 146:9