We spent our first month in Vegas in a hotel. We're not talking a glitz and glam hotel. We're talking about an extended stay that was close to but not on the strip...as in...in the hood. That's what we get for reserving a hotel without having ever been to the town.
Because of where we were, we got a first-hand look at the "real" Vegas. Not the tourist Vegas, but the, "Oh my gosh are THIS many people really homeless" Vegas. It was a harsh reality that was very different from the secluded, clean suburbs we had always lived in.
I think I'll forever have etched in my mind what happened our second week here. I was getting off the highway & was stopped on the exit ramp at a light. A frail, old man had a sign up asking for food. I won't give money, but I'll gladly give food. I had a bag of oranges in the front seat. I rolled down my window and held them out. The old man came up and took those oranges.
His response is what I'll never forget. He had this look of astonishment on his face. He said, "Wow! Oranges! Thank you SO MUCH!! I can't remember the last time I had an orange...and to get a whole bag! Thank you! God bless you!"
I've seen that same man twice since. I've given him more oranges as well as apples and bananas. I don't say this to brag. That's not it at all. I typically don't talk about what I do for others. The Bible talks about just doing it...and letting your reward be on heaven not here on earth.
But this man. This one man. He opened my eyes. Because he was so excited about oranges. I mean seriously. Oranges. When was the last time YOU had an orange? Did you ever think that it might be your last? Could you ever even imagine being SO EXCITED that someone gave you...an orange?
I've been told that we're not supposed to give to the people who are asking for food or money. They're drug addicts, alcoholics. They won't use what I give them wisely.
Honestly, I don't see how someone could misuse food.
Even so, God doesn't tell me to only help them if I believe they're worthy of my help. He says to help. To feed them. Period. Just...feed them. It's not up to me to judge whether or not they're worthy of the food. It's not up to me to say whether they deserve my help. I'm just to help them. Because God said to.
But, but, but...I don't have the money. I have to feed my family. I can't be concerned with those who won't help themselves. Again...there's that "God said" thing. Beyond that...this is a huge reason that I coupon. I will get any food that is free or almost free whether we'll use it or not. What we can't use, I donate either directly to someone who can use it or to a food bank, homeless shelter, or place like the Ronald McDonald House.
And since meeting this man, I get some extra fruits and easy veggies (like baby carrots). It costs me very little, but is a HUGE blessing to those who haven't had fresh fruits or veggies in years. Can you imagine? I can't.
And that's why you'll find fruits and veggies in my car.