Acts 3:1-10

We were waiting at the traffic light yesterday in Gresham, Oregon. (We were westbound on Highway 26 just before it goes under the I-205 freeway, if you must know.)

He, too, was waiting at the traffic light.

But, unlike we, he wouldn’t be moving on when the green light lit.

He was in motion, though, slowly walking on “his” piece of sidewalk, his hand-lettered piece of cardboard held for his captive audience to read.

The sign declared him…homeless…living in his car…needing money for food/gas.

I looked straight ahead. Because I rarely know what to do when I’m part of such an audience. I’m a cynic. I’m also a Christian. And generally in cases like that, the former triumphs over the latter.

Maybe it should. Maybe it shouldn’t. I don’t know.

Then He Who Will Not Call Them Kids thought of They Who Would Not Be Called Children — “What do they think of Dad not giving that man some money?”

And I realized, “I’m not looking at the guy.” Much less making eye contact. Why not?

I don’t know that either.

It seemed pretty lame then.

It seems very much so now.

Especially after reading this a bit ago:

“And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us” (4).

So…what will I do next time?

I don’t know that either.

Maybe that man got from me such as I have — of compassion, of cynicism, of love, of suspicion, of generosity, of selfishness, of Christ.



What do you do in situations such as that?

[The Scriptures say in Acts 3:6 -- Such as I have give I thee]
from Acts 3:6

2 thoughts on “Avoiding Eye Contact

  1. It can be a hard call.
    But whenever possible, we have followed Christ’s command to “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” (Matt 5:42)
    Sometimes that has meant doing a turn-around, stopping by a coffee shop and getting a cup of coffee and sandwich for the fellow, adding a gospel tract, and then handing it out the window to him.
    Other times it has meant taking homeless people into our home to feed a good meal, share the gospel, and provide them a place to sleep for the night.
    We’ve also picked up food and set it before a homeless person getting warm in a donut shop. Then sit down to talk with them of Jesus, and leave them with a copy of the New Testament.
    Please don’t take this as “bragging.” God forbid. We only hope it gives some ideas, and courage to do what our flesh pulls away from.
    God bless!

  2. Where ever possible, I prefer to give food or items of use rather than money, as money can be misused. I also believe, ‘we are what we give’.

Surely you could add something...