Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Few Moments of Panhandling

With the upcoming storm here in Salt Lake City, I was in need of some winter gear so that I would be able to work outside and to be somewhat comfortable staying outside. After the 12:30 message at K2 The Church, I went to the shopping plaza near Sugar House Park, where I put together a sign and stood near an entrance to the parking lot. On the sign it stated:

Any Help

Winter Boots
Sleeping Bag
Thank You

This was a real experience for me and an eye-opener. Before I even started to hold the sign I prayed that I would receive the items that I needed and during my stand I thought to myself, "If God wants me to have it, then it will happen". Well, I was blessed! After 4 hours, I received enough to buy a pair of good thermal winter boots and thermal socks. I didn't get the sleeping bag, but felt God had a reason for this. One gentleman came by with a box full of thermal underwear and enough socks for a couple of weeks, along with other warm clothing. After this person left me with the box, I had to stop and take a long breath and wipe the water from my eyes, I just couldn't believe what was happening.

The day wasn't full of blessings, it also had it's moments of disgusted looks, people saying; "Yea, right, he isn't homeless", along with other quotes I'll refrain from listing here.

I watched as those with the big expensive objects drove by with disgusted looks on their face and pretend that I wasn't even there. Some people would smile and that was great to me, because, yes they recognized me which made me feel like I was human.

To each person (except one, when I lost the paper) that gave, I handed a paper thanking them and inviting them to this blog, if you are one of those who received this I say, "Thank you very much for giving, trusting and believing. I invite each one of you into my life on this journey I've started, and you all will be in my prayers tonight".

Will I ever hold a sign like this again? I truly believe that this is the one and only time that I will ever need to do this. And I pray that I'll never be in this situation again where as last resort it is needed.

Today was also Day 8 in my reading of "The Purpose Driven Life". This chapter, "Planned For God's Pleasure", really fit me to a tee today, and was one that I'll always remember.

Bringing pleasure to God is called "Worship", and it doesn't just pertain to singing and music. Worship is anything that you do to please and give glory to God. This could be helping at your church's service, working at your daily job, sharing a smile with a homeless person, or helping your neighbor. Anything that you do to bring pleasure to God is an act of worship.

Well today I felt I brought pleasure to God by trusting in Him to deliver the items I needed for work and staying warm. I didn't look back at those who gave me those unpleasing gestures or stares with the same or worse gesture or stare. I didn't come out with any words of disregard to those who openly suggested where to go. Today, so far I feel I've pleasured God by being truthful, open, warm and, well, just what He expected me to be.

My Music of The Day

A real quick quote from "The Purpose Driven Life" reading today; pg.65

"God loves all kinds of music because he invented it all-fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. You probably don't like it all, but God does! If it is offered to God in spirit and truth, it is an act of worship."

This song from Waking Ashland goes right along with where my thinking has been for the last two weeks. "All Hands On Deck" will remain close to me for along time to come.

Buy Waking Ashland Music


Thomas said...

There's nothing wrong with panhandling. Don't let those with negative looks and gestures affect your relationship with God. You did what you needed to. I was in Las Vegas last Thanksgiving and there was a guy panhandling as well. The others in the car chose not to give anything, but I was all too happy to give him a few dollars. Keep your head up, Scott.

Scott Sowle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Thanks Thomas. My walk with God is helping me to keep my head held up. As far as the panhandling goes, I won't be doing this anymore, unless it is the last resort. I'm able to get work through a day labor agency, which will help me get back on my feet. Yesterday's panhandling was for the gear I needed for this work and for this storm that is going on outside. It's nasty cold and snow, just like what you get back in MN.

John Lunt said...

You know, in Jesus'day people with need stayed by the road and asked for alms. Jesus never rebuked them. He loved them. Scott, may the Lord continue to bless you. I will pray for you. Thanks for this blog. If you don't mind, I'm going to put a link on my blog.