Guy has brain tumor. Wife has leukemia. Should I help?

My sister-in-law had quite the adventure. Her story follows:

"Ok, here's one that you might want to post on God Spots:

My friend, on her way into the Mall today to meet us for lunch, ran into a guy who said he had a brain tumor and asked directions to a Seventh Day Adventist Church because they were supposedly going to help him by providing him some money. Ellen (not her real name) offered to drive him to the church (knowing that it was Seventh Day Adventist and, therefore, it was unlikely that anyone would be there). Sure enough, when they got there, no one was there. So she then offered to give the guy a ride home (to a local apartment complex). While riding to his house, he told her that he had the brain tumor (apparently, he DID have a BIG lump in the back of his head, near his neck) and that his wife had leukemia and that they were short $133 to make their rent. They also needed food. She wrote him a check for $150 but he then said that he had no way of cashing the check. She THEN went to the ATM and withdrew the $150 and gave it to him and drove him back home.

There is a part of me that really admires her for having the faith that God would protect her (she said the guy was non-threatening and the only time she felt nervous at all was when she was at the ATM — not because of anything he did, but she just realized that he COULD do something) and giving so freely of her finances. However, there is the human part of me that says she could have been killed (we kept calling and checking on her, but if he had been crazy, that would not have helped), raped, beaten, etc. and how does she know that he and his wife then didn't go out and get some booze and/or drugs?

I know the Bible tells us that to who much is given, much is expected and we should help the poor. Do I have too little faith and am I not giving enough — because I am not so sure that I would have done either?? It has made me question how faithful I am in my trust that the Lord would protect me and should I be more trusting in giving to others??


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It is the desire of my heart that God be Lord of my life. Life’s experiences have killed the old man and God is building a new creation in me. I look forward to experiencing the new man God creates in the old vessel known as Archie via "God Spots".

4 thoughts on “Guy has brain tumor. Wife has leukemia. Should I help?”

  1. Hi Carol. Thank you so much for the post. It is a GREAT God Spot. God honored you and your friend for being a part of it. Here is my take.

    It makes absolutely no sense at all for your friend to do what she did. It was dangerous and all kinds of bad things could have happened. But most of the time in faith building exercises, it makes no sense.

    The key is knowing you are chasing after God and then being able to identify His presence when the time comes. If you spend time with God, reading His Word, praying, worshiping and fellowship with others that are of a like mind, it becomes easy to identity God’s presence.

    Then when the opportunity comes, you can easily discern if God is a part of it or it is counterfeit. Much like training to detect bogus bills, you look at hundreds of good bills and then the bad bill sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Another thing. When God has set me up for a God Spot and I don’t perform, I immediately know it by the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It is usually too late to fix the disobedience. But when I am obedient, I feel awesome and am so encouraged that God chose me.

    So I think it is not so much about faith although it could be, I think it is more about obedience. If in obedience, you do risky things, you trust God that no matter what the outcome, it will be better than to be disobedient. Ask the Christian martyr what he thinks as his eyes are being poked out for not denying Christ…

    Love you sis. Keep chasing after God and asking the tough questions.

  2. Hi Archie;

    I would have given him $150 too.

    My thinking is this, if he had to reduce himself to that level to dream up a scam that would suit the lump in his neck, he needed the money anyway.

    Better let him have it if you have than drive him to desperation.

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