⁄ dil·em·ma ⁄
a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially equally undesirable ones.
Before posing this question, for those of you who hate confrontation – you may want to move on to a different post.
Since living in Southern California, I have been confronted with the modern day reality of homelessness. In my home town in Australia, there is homelessness, but not in the numbers seen here in SoCal. So any time you went by someone living on the street, it was easy to buy them a meal, give them some cash or pray with them because there weren’t a gazillion other people in the same difficult circumstance sitting on the same block… In my home town, while homelessness (temporary or long-lasting) is a real problem, it seems in some way, surmountable. But here in California, tackling the issue of homelessness feels overwhelming because there are just so many people living on the street. Of course, this can be attributed to a much greater population size of the US; whichever way you look at it – nothing is going to change if a community approach is not adopted.
But without getting waist deep into a debate I am not properly equipped to have, the SoCal dilemma that I wanted to pose to you is this: if you encounter several homeless people a day, each of whom are equally loved by the Lord, and you only have a limited amount of resources at your disposal (whether it be food, money, time, clothing – ¡whatever!), how do you steward wisely while being a generous giver?
Why is it a dilemma? Because giving all you have to one person means you leave the others without, while giving a little to each means that you might not be helping them at all, while turning your back completely would be to deny the heart of Jesus, while giving to a larger charitable organization might mean that the person before you never sees any assistance from what you have given – there is literally an important plus and an important minus in every alternative option.
Now often the Lord meets me where I am at in a specific circumstance, and I feel an inclination to give a certain amount or in some cases to withhold, but I am intrigued as to how other people approach this…
What is your solution to the SoCal dilemma?
For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land Deuteronomy 15:11