Several of you shared your fascinating experiences with street people. Your stories are just begging to be shared.

One of my college buddies wrote me that she gets mistaken for a street person at times. She wrote that the most anyone ever offered her was $20. She rarely gives away money but will offer to buy the person food. This same lady has donated thousands of hours to help an endangered species – wolves. She is truly and angel in sheep’s clothing.

My friend volunteered at a church in the middle of public housing project in South Philadelphia. One time she took the offering plates home to polish them. As she sat on the train next to the door with the plates on her lap, a man getting off threw a quarter into them. The doors closed before she could give it back. She gave that quarter to the church.

She told me about a Philadelphia K-9 police officer who was waiting for the train with his dog seated beside him. He had recently had eye problems and was wearing sunglasses. He was also holding a cup of coffee. A well-dressed woman walking by dropped a dime in his coffee as she passed and said, “God bless you! I never saw a blind policeman.”

Two weeks ago I met a couple who did drugs, and, as a result, both lost their jobs. One of them even ended up with a jail term. To their credit, neither are living on the street or still doing drugs. They got help from Narcotics Anonymous, stopped their drugs, and began sponsoring others along the road to recovery. They are taking it “one step at a time” – plus many phone calls and meetings with sponsors and sponsees. These beggars are making a choice every day to work, maintain a home, put food on the table, and care for their dear children.

The third friend who contacted me is a recovering alcoholic living in Santa Barbara – yes, the same Santa Barbara I wrote about – the one with all the picky eaters. He is working with a team who give out hamburgers, not french fries.

He wrote me,  “I found my calling at a ministry that has a house on the busiest party street in town. Every Friday night we pass out free burgers to party goers and street people. Those burgers open all sorts of doors into their hearts. Most of these folks notice the peace and good vibe they feel here. The burgers got named by the party goers as “Jesus Burgers.” The house is now called the “Jesus Burger House.” It is a place of refuge, acceptance and love. We have a sign that reads,”Free Blessings.” People come over to it all night wanting a blessing. Some don’t even know what a blessing means, but they want us to pray for them to receive it. Almost every time they are so thankful and tear up or cry. Please pray for us every Friday night, and for those who are lost to find Jesus!”

You can check out the Isla Vista Jesus Burger house here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlJ4SPVzzwU

You may not be up for grilling out downtown every Friday, but we all have friends and neighbors who need our love. Invite someone to dinner this week. Call someone who is alone. And if you want some ideas as to where to give your 10% here is a list of the top ten charities from Christian Scientist Monitor. “Give and it shall be given unto you.”


Make Me a Blessing



5 thoughts on “Burgers for Beggars

  1. The most I’ve given to a “street person” is $20. She was standing next to the road, looking like she was really struggling, and some mean person in a fancy car honked his/her horn aggressively at her as if to say, “get out of my way.” I saw this as I was driving with my window down, so I turned around and drove over to where she was standing. I got out of the car and said that I had seen what happened, and that I thought it was really mean as I handed her a the twenty dollar bill. She started crying, and I hugged her.

    See, even someone who doesn’t believe that Jesus was a historically real personage can be kind.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Anthony, both with us and with this needy woman. Yes, we humans have a sense of fairness and compassion – most of us. I am actually very proud of my son who was a friend to a street person. But, as you realize, the worldwide problem does not have simple answers. While visiting a big tourist attraction in China we made the mistake of giving money to a woman who was begging. Within minutes we were swarmed by over a dozen poor women. We could not help them all. It was sad.

  3. Paula, Thanks for these stories. I especially liked the Burgers for Jesus approach! I also agree that giving money is tricky. I can’t help everyone with money–or solve a person’s problems with money. It may be part of the solution, but the situation may demand more from me than my money. I’m thinking about the Samaritan in Luke. A pretty costly gift of time, effort and yes–some money.

  4. Elouise, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It makes me think that just sharing things is not the solution. This is even true when raising our kids. They can have lots of things and never learn to make their own way in life.

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