I’m generally quite a tough person. Ask one of the Pilling’s. Any of them will confirm that. But I am a big softy when it comes to a few things. Homeless people are one of them.
Two years ago I had an experience that really taught me a lesson. Auckland city is full of homeless people on the main street begging for money. Some of them I really feel sorry for. One day I was going to university. I got off the bus and there was a crowd of people. Amongst them was a middle aged man who looked Maori. I made eye contact with him and I knew he was going to ask me for money. So I put my ear phones in and pretended to listen to music and I attempted to walk past him. As I got closer he walked up to me and said “excuse me, I know you’re probably really busy, but I was just wondering if you had some spare change?” In my head I could see that I had some coins in my wallet that I could give him, but out of my mouth came the words “sorry, I don’t carry cash.” Dumb Kayne. Dumb. Dumb. DUMB!
He said it was fine and apologized for bugging me and he walked away. I froze. Straight away Mosiah 4 came into my mind and I felt the spirit so strongly tell me that I needed to go up to him and give him my coins. I could tell that he really needed it and he was genuine and really apologetic. My heart broke. I just stood there and watched him walk off. I pulled out my phone and read Mosiah 4. I said a prayer to repent and I proceeded to walk after him. But he was gone. I walked up and down Queen Street trying to find him but I couldn’t see him anywhere. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I felt terrible. I thought to myself “I hope that if that was me, if I needed just $2 for the bus home, that someone would give that to me.” And that is what I thought that man would be feeling.
This morning I got to work half an hour early so I went to the supermarket to pick up a drink. There was a man sitting outside the front doors. I walked in, grabbed my drink, and when I got to the checkouts I had a feeling to get $2 out to give to the man. But I didn’t. I walked out and made eye contact with him, but I just walked off. He looked sad and that made me sad. When I walked away I thought “what has he done to end up here? What has his life been like?” As soon as I got to the office the spirit hit me hard and told me to go back and get some money out for the man. So I walked back to the supermarket, but he had gone. He left his spot and I didn’t know where he was. Regret flooded me instantly. I went and got $10 out anyway and when I walked out he was walking back around the corner to sit down. I handed him the money and he said “oh, thank you ma’am. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You’ve made my day!” I smiled and walked away and tears filled my eyes.
Bryton and I don’t have much money. We have been saving up for our trip overseas and we don’t have much left over. But we had a little bit in our account and I thought that we would probably spend that money on food for ourselves anyway. But we already have food. We have jobs and we get paid. We don’t have much money but we do have enough.
Mosiah 4 teaches us:
And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substanceunto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just –
But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for siler, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
I have such a strong testimony of helping those in need. Often the spirit will testify small moments of truth to us. When those moments come we need to act upon them in order to strengthen our testimonies and our faith in Jesus Christ. This was one of those moments and I am forever grateful for it.