Friday, January 26, 2007

$10 and my faith in humanity

So my general faith in the world at large isn’t what it should be and I’ll easily admit that. This morning while I was showing Isaac how to pump gas, the kid likes to be helpful what can I say, some guy asks me for a couple of bucks so he can get these two girls to work and then back home.

I look around at the other cars and see that they have this less than approving look on their face.

I think,” this is a test” amid everything else in the world I’m being tested by this schlep that needs gas. I get $10 and hand it to him he give me a couple of “God bless you” lies and the usual stuff and then starts to get in his car. I yell at the guy and tell him “Now, get the gas now!” “Oh, yeah”. The woman in the drivers seat, the whole time is mouthing “sorry, sorry” and while the guy goes in, I imagine he’s prepaying for the gas, the bitch in the back seat gets out and gives me this sob story. I tell her that I’ll get paid again in a couple of days and as long as he’s not buying smokes and junk food I don’t mind helping someone out.

When Isaac and I finish we walk in and considering this is one of my two places I get fuel I ask Carl how much gas the guy on one got. “The first time he spent two bucks, just then he spent $1.50”.

What a shit heap. By the end of the day I hope I won’t be pissed about this but there is a good chance I’ll not be able to reconnect to the forgiveness post of yesterday. This is insignificant and won’t matter in the great scheme of things but it’s a shitty way to start the day.


Jamison said...

Ive been approached too many times to count in this city... and others (Myrtle Beach being one of them). I no longer give money, I say I have no cash (lie) or I flat out tell them "I dont buy your story". At one point, I even kept the phone number of the welfare department and the Food Bank in my wallet. if anyone asked for money, I gave them a quarter and those phone numbers.

Lesson learned. You basically got robbed, except no gun was used and the cops cant arrest him for lying. legal robbing.

Brewster said...

Let's not go overboard here, he wasn't robbed. He willfully gave money to someone he knew very well may not use it for its asked for purpose.

It does totally suck though, and I think this is one of the reasons so many don't give. It's also why I don't give to individuals, but organizations - church, goodwill, redcross, local library, etc. At least there I know the money will go to its intended purpose (mostly)

Don't let it get you too down mullins. There are still lots of needs people out there, who aren't swindles.

Jamison said...

When I gave money to the guy (who has appoached me 3 times in the past 5 years) the first time, I did felt robbed, like mullins did. I saw him tell me he needed 8 bucks to get to the hospital (cab I guess?) he asked if I was a Christian, love God, etc...

after giving him 2 bucks, i saw him walk down the parking lot and get in the passenger door of a new, ehite cadilac... his career is swindling white people who are scared to see black people approach them.

Mullins, if they need help or money, there are about 500 orgs in Knoxville ready to help them. Tell them that your money is all with the government and goodwill, and send them there.

Brewster said...

I still feel irritated about the guy who stole cds from me when I gave him a ride. And that was 10 years ago.

Jamison said...

i think it was the same guy who has approached me 3 times.

mullinz8 said...

Typically I’ll go buy someone food and give it directly to them or I’ll have them fill up the car and I’ll pay for it, which I’ve only done once or twice.

This morning I had Isaac out and I didn’t want to leave him in charge of pumping the gas and my mind was other places anyway so this was a passing opportunity to help someone who might be in need.

When am I going to get kidnapped by and repeatedly raped by a bus full of Hawaiian Tropic Bikini Models, when is it my turn?

I think if I see the guy again I’m going to crack his knee caps with the bumper of my car, that, that, that my friends will make me feel batter. At least for a few moments and that’s all I need.

bigsip said...

I sense some frustration, Mullins.

I had a guy in New Orleans swindle me out of $20. Really pissed me off. It does suck, man. I don't blame you for feeling some ill will.

I love giving at church, though. When a missionary thanks us or I see how great VBS turns out, it makes me feel alright. Yeah, it makes me feel alright.

CL said...

Hey Matt, Not sure, how I got here, but you know how that goes. I hope no one minds my comment.

I am a "preacher" and I deal with people every single week who go about things this very same way. Show up at the church and try to get money for gas or food or whatever. Some are legit some are not.
I have struggled for years about this issue. How can I help these people without getting taken?
So, I started taking people to buy food if they were hungry. Or taking them to the gas station and personally pumping and paying for gas if they needed it. Even when doing this I have realized that I was taken. People would need like .95 in gas or would try to get me to buy cigarettes and toys with their groceries.
It finally hit me. I was asking the wrong question.
Maybe I shouldn't ask questions like, Am I being taken for a ride?
But maybe I should ask, is God being taken for a ride? I mean, it's all His anyway.
Ultimately His call to me is, as Donald Miller says, "don't treat love like a commodity," I should share it whether it's rejected or not.
I almost couldn't accept even that, so I finally settled on the idea, that God placed me here to bless others. That's it.
So now I ask, in what way can I live out the ressurection of Christ to this person or that?
More questions than answers I know. Maybe just rambling, but wanted to share. Love the blog!

Brewster said...

Chris Freaking Lockhart! How ya doing man? You are more than welcome to come back to the blog and comment all you like.

Random memory: You were trying to get your band to open up for Man Or Astroman's local gig and wrote them this nutty little letter and asked me to write a blurb in the margins. I don't remember what any of it said, but that memory has stuck in my brain.

Anyways, good thoughts all around. The truth is if we try to help others were are going to be taken advantage of. It just happens. I think we should try to make our money/time/effort go to the ones truly in need, but in the end its the trying that matters.

Or something.

Jamison said...

Chris is an old faulkner-ite, old friend, and current MySpace friend... Welcome, Lockhart! If you lurk often, understand all of us are God fearing Christians who occationally let a minor swear word fly here and there in our posts, and sometimes the conversations becomes a heated debate, bt at the end of the day, we still love each other.

kellieja said...

Heated debates indeed. I still havent "forgiven" Josh for thinking that an upside down toilet is "non-art"

I am still lurking.

CL said...

Thanks man! Yeah those were good times. Real good times. Alot has changed in my life, but much remains the same about me. Including my tastes in music.

Thanks to you as well. I like the "cafe" set up. It's a great place to exchange thoughts and ideas. I'm digging it.
Don't worry about your words with me.

You guys know me, and as was and will always be. I am about as anti-preacher as anyone in the world. Which is why I say, "I'm not really a preacher, I just play one on Sundays."
Truth is, I just want to be a follower of Jesus and I know that doesn't and won't look the same for everyone.
May God be with all of you! Shalom!