I read a story lately about a lady who was in dire straits. She posted on a local Facebook page saying that she needed help and didn’t know what to do.
She said that she really needed help. She was a single mom and had two little girls, one 7 and one nearly 2. She said that she was about to be evicted because she hadn’t paid her rent, she didn’t have any food, and she didn’t have winter clothes for the girls. She said she was starting a job on Monday but wouldn’t be paid until two weeks later.
Plenty of things don’t sound right about this.
Apartments don’t kick you out for nonpayment of rent for the first month. They usually wait at least two months. So this has been going on for a while.
If she has custody of the children, she should be getting child support. She didn’t mention anything about this. Perhaps she is a widow. Again, no mention.
No food? No winter clothes? Did she just wake up from a coma and notice that something might need to be done? How has she survived this long with this basic inability to plan ahead?
And why is she asking for help from strangers? Why isn’t she asking family or friends? I have a suspicion she already has asked them before and they are tired of rescuing her.
I know that as Christians we are not supposed to question those who ask for help. We are not supposed to judge their worthiness. But there has to be some accountability going on. Otherwise we should all quit our jobs and start begging. Wait – that won’t work. Then who would give us money if they too didn’t have a job?
I remember seeing a guy on the side of the road with a sign saying that he needed a new roof. When I needed a new roof I got a second mortgage. I had asked my family if I could get a loan from them, having never asked before, and I got quickly turned down. So I had to figure out another way. Standing on the side of the road with a cardboard sign never occurred to me as something that was OK. It still doesn’t seem OK.
At what point is helping someone not helping at all? At what point is helping someone just encouraging them to keep needing help?
I’m reminded of the phrase –“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for the rest of his life.”
At what point do we have to show “tough love” and make people have to be responsible for their own lives?