13 Envelopes – A Challenge for a Loving, but Awkward, Heart

I grew up with a family that was very charitable. My Granny, the oldest in the family that I ever knew, believed firmly in the philosophy of Matthew 25:34-40. The Lord wants us to help those that are put in our path. Which brings me to the subject of today’s fluttering thoughts.

Here’s the situation… Sometimes it’s awkward to give to a homeless person that you see on the street. I get that. Maybe it’s even a little scary. But, in your heart, maybe you feel you should do something.

Here’s my challenge… Take $40. Split it into 10 or 13 envelopes (colored ones preferably), and maybe add a few pieces of candy. You can even add a little note if you like. Keep them in your car under the seat or in the cubby or glove compartment or your purse.

That’s it. Then, when you see a homeless person, you just have to hand them an envelope. No scrambling in your purse or wallet before the light changes, no looking away because it’s uncomfortable and you don’t feel like making the effort.

Obviously, if you can spare more, then put more in the envelope. If you can spare less, then adjust as you need to. The point is, be prepared with an on-the-spot solution when you see someone in need.

There’s a lot of attitude about homeless people sometimes. I think it’s because the situation makes people uncomfortable. It’s hard to enjoy your luxurious day at the beach when you see someone with no food and you’re about to spend $50 or more on dinner.

Here’s the thing: Being homeless could happen to anyone. You might be bringing in $100k per year now, but that could change in a heartbeat. If Covid-19 and the Recession of ’06 taught us anything, it should be that your financial well-being is tentative at best. Think of the spiral that could send you down into being homeless and the fact that once you’re there, it’s a tough road to climb out.

There are admittedly some people that are homeless that will tell you they chose to be so. To them, it’s freedom. However, it isn’t my job to figure out the whys or the hows that have a person in a situation. To me, our job is pretty clear.


“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, “I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (NIV)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button