Can You Spare Some Change?

Can You Spare Some Change?

Can You Spare Some Change?
Story by Tim Madding, who recently started the “Seven Days Without” sermon series which encourages members to live out their faith in practical ways.

IMG_5236[I’m] on the third day of seven days without a home, and I am already a creature of habit. [I] have my bedding situation under control. I sleep safe. Not sleeping great mind you, but safe. With my allotted $20 for the week I can grab a cheap drink at McDonalds and charge my phone every day. I wouldn’t have to–I could go to the local library, where I filled my water bottle yesterday, but I have a thing for soda.  I know where I can get a hot breakfast and lunch, as well as a daily shower. So far I’ve not needed money, only to buy my cheap drink. That could change if the blister on my foot doesn’t improve. I may need to buy Band-Aids.

I walk into McDonalds to use the restroom and charge my iPhone. As I make my way to a table after getting my drink, someone asks, “Can you spare some change?”

I can honestly say, “Sorry man, I’ve only got a few dollars to get me through the week.  Mind if I sit with you, though?”

“Sure.” I sit at the table next to him.

His name is Anthony, a black man in his mid-thirties. Been on the streets and in and out of prison for most of his life. He says he was in for drug dealing. He lifted his shirt to show me the scars from being stabbed four separate times–one in his right arm, another above his heart, a third in his lower left side and the final in his stomach. The stabbing to his stomach left a large, painful scar.  He’s never used drugs (so he says) just sold it to support the rush from his gambling habit.

“I just need change to get me somethin’ to eat.”  Was he telling me a story to get sympathy, hoping I’d give him cash or was he being straight with me? I don’t know. But I’m here this week to understand and help people like him. People that both need and want help.

Hoping to help, I asked, “You hungry?”