Bridget Mary's Response: Across from McDonald's, where I live in Sarasota, Florida there are homeless people with cardboard signs that call out for help: "hungry and homeless."
So, as I drive into McDonald's, I invite them to join me in the restaurant for a meal.
On occasion, some folks will share their stories, and eat with me, like Mark who brings his dog with him and is more worried about his animal than about his serious health issues. Most of the time, they go back outside after getting their food "to go", and eat seated on the grassy lot.
Today, I encountered a woman bent over her walker on the street before turning into McD'. She asked for money for groceries for her children .When I gave her money, she pleaded for more money. Normally, I do not give money, I give food., but she looked so desperate, so I gave her more money.
Maybe, I was being scammed I reasoned, but was she the Christ who was hungry that I was supposed to meet today?
After joining my small elder group inside McDonalds, I asked if they saw her.
Paula and Jim recognized her, and said that she had been begging at different intersections in the city for years.
I agree with Amy Morris-Young that our spiritual DNA trumps our common sense and sometimes our acts of kindness appear foolish or crazy. But, I'd rather error on the side of compassion, even if sometimes I may be deceived.
Thank you Amy Morris-Young for your compassionate heart and good humor.
As St. Brigit of Kildare once said "what is mine is theirs."
Your words inspired me today."Because he was right, in a way. I sensed that trying to explain my compulsion to give stuff or money away would be complicated. It goes so deep in my Irish-Italian Catholic DNA, back through 16 years of Catholic school, it is as much a part of me as my eye color or loud laugh or need to drop off a lasagna dinner when someone is sick or hurt."
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org