Over the past few months we've seen a lot of beggars with cardboard signs at stoplights throughout our city (Grand Rapids) and cities we've been visiting while traveling. The many beggars have led to lots of conversations with our children, and even though we've prayed for the beggars as we drove away it wasn't quite sitting with me right that we weren't doing anything for them. I know it's not the best idea to give beggars money, so a few weeks ago we made Blessings Bags.
We’ve kept the bags in our minivan under the front seats, so if we are at a red light or approached by a beggar in a parking lot then we can quickly and easily give the bag to the person.
I have to confess that before handing out the bags I was nervous. As I was driving around I thought: How are the beggars going to respond? Are they going to be angry that I’m not giving them money? Are they going to keep badgering me for something more? Are the people in the cars around me going to think I’m ridiculous? All petty selfish thoughts, but they were there so I asked God to give me courage to actually hand out the bags when I saw the beggars.
This week God gave us the opportunity to hand out three bags! And I have to tell you – all three times it was a blessing. All three people (two men and one woman) were genuinely touched by the gift. They beamed with joy, doted over the gifts, and said "Thank you!" repeatedly. Not one of them asked for anything more or expressed anything but thankfulness.
The first time I was alone. The second time Abbie was with me. The third time Christian was with me and was able to hand the bag to the lady through the widow himself. Both of my children were grinning ear to ear when we drove away from the beggars instead of their usual faces of concern and sadness. They each volunteered to pray for the beggars as we drove away! These blessings bags didn’t just bless the hearts of the beggars, they blessed my family’s hearts too! Jesus' words are so true - "It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
So if you have a lot of beggars in your city, consider making Blessings Bags. I guarantee they will bless you too!
Blessings Bags Supply List
Gallon Freezer Ziploc Bags
Travel Sized Lotion
2 Applesauce Cups
Bag of Beef Jerky
Small Water Bottle
Note - "Just because. You matter. Everyone needs help sometimes. Our family is praying for you."