There but for Grace

  • There But For Grace.
    • There but for the Grace of God go I!
  • I see the lame.
    • I see the poor.
  • I know not what to say.
    • I know not what to do.
  • But yet, I know with certainty,
    • There but for the Grace of God go I!
  • I see the hand or sign held out to be seen.
    •  I hear, “Gotta quarter?”
  • I hear, “Can you spare a dollar?”
    • All this, and I think is this another rip-off?
  • Are they going to use the money for ill?
    • But yet, I know with certainty.
  • There, but for the Grace of God go I!

Originally written: October 21, 1996

■I was reflecting on seeing people on corners and outside buildings asking for money. The signs say they are homeless. I know I am lucky. I could have easily been homeless. Lost of my job,  my home, and family through divorce. It is the path many have taken. I had a friend who said, “Come stay with me.”  Without that friend I would have been  on the street homeless.

■I have since met a very intelligent person who was homeless for several years.   I was told that any money received was used for either drugs or alcohol.   There are state or city organizations and charities that provide care and opportunities.  A donation there is well spent.   Each homeless person must find it deep down within themselves to take advantage of the opportunities available and move forward. 

■My heart is tugged every time I see or hear someone homeless.  I provide a donation on the rare occasion when my heart can’t stand it anymore.

2 responses to “There but for Grace

  1. The scripture relating to how we treat “the least of us” always comes to mind when dealing with those on the street. That combined with knowing how many/most use the money given them often determines what action I take. You have made many good choices keeping you from being “one of these.”

  2. I also struggle with how to respond to those on the street. In my area, you often see them at the top freeway off-ramps. And one time I went past the same place twice in one day to see them “changing shifts” and eating lunch out of the back of a nice SUV. It is a shame that those who would scam others leave us wondering whether to help those who are really homeless. But you are right that people are homeless for a lot of reasons besides bad choices. And there but for the Grace of God go I! You should read the book “Same Kind of Different as Me” by Denver Moore and Ron Hall. It’s a true story and a great read.

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