I’m in Florida, Palmetto to be precise. We pull into a Walmart after a concert. I get out of the van, just to walk around and am immediately stopped by ragged looking man who inquires about the name on the side of our trailer. This, he uses to segway into being a Christian, loving God, and needing money.
I hate people like this. I know they say “love the sinner, hate the sin”, but I hate the sinner in this case. Though, I do have a valid reason: they make me feel terrible about myself. I’m a compassionate fellow by nature, if I got paid more I would give away more whether its in buying presents for friends, covering someones bill for a meal or drink, or giving money to a panhandler with a sob story. I am doomed to be forever low on money because of my inhumane generosity and idiotic amount of compassion. I feel a sense of obligation to help, then regret the state of my finances.
Really, compassion has been more of a hurt to me than a help. For compassion without discernment is a useless waste of time and money.
Compassion is just an excuse to be broke.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for those people who beg for money. But, they do, they make me feel awful. And it’s not necessarily that they make me feel like a bad person, but the make me feel like a jerk for giving them money. If there was a genuine need, I wouldn’t think twice about giving them money, but when I drive off and see that same person walk to the next vehicle to beg for more… I just feel like such a jerk and I hate that they do it to me.
I know I’m going to end up giving them money if I have any, and I hate that. As soon as they pull me aside, I have too much dignity to refuse them conversation, too much pride to walk away, and too much compassion to send them away with nothing. I hate it, I really do; because it’s a waste of the time and resources God has gifted me with to use for His kingdom’s advancement.
But what can a guy do? Do I harden myself, change who I am to be able to conserve my money and turn a blank eye and cold shoulder to the panhandlers, beggars, and moochers? Consequently turning a cold shoulder and a blind eye to the real needs of genuine people. I want to be able to give when there is a need, and I can’t help but give when there isn’t really a valid need.
How to be a Christian without compassion…? I have the nasty habit of giving money that I don’t have to people. I have cash, but it’s on loan from others and I end up deeper in debt for giving to a false damsel in distress, more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
This is the retrospective introspect of a temporarily psychopathic, schizophrenic introverted extrovert of an artist. I’m a mess… but that’s okay. The struggle I have is in finding a cause to follow. Once I follow something, everything else follows. I dedicate myself and my finances, time, and energy will be devoted to that cause and not frivolously cast upon the breeze. Find a cause you can fight for, cling to, and follow it.
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist