Ordinarily Extraordinary » Discovering our purpose through faith and the personality and giftings God created us with.

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This Image…


This image might haunt me. In Birmingham after seeing my sister and on my way to the Alabama Bloggers meet up for lunch. Turning back onto Hwy 280, I see him standing there. I wondered what I should do. Alone I didn’t feel safe rolling down my window and giving him money. But something made me wonder. Something almost made me stop, back traffic up for a moment and hand him a twenty dollar bill.

I didn’t. I snapped this photo instead. I didn’t want to forget.

I wonder what story he has to tell. What circumstances brought him so low he cared less about his pride thanĀ the embarassmentĀ of standing on the side of the road on a cold day asking for help. What gifts could he bring to someone’s day? Did he have family? What branch of military? Would he make his way to one of the shelters that night? Would someone stop to help? We all have a story. Suddenly I wanted to know his.

I’m linking up at The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday.

  • Kate - January 21, 2011 - 2:02 pm

    Amy – this is great. In NY, you didn’t give anyone money. You never knew who was scamming you. But it seems like it might be a totally different thing in Birmingham. I would’ve been torn, too…

  • Molly Bridges - January 21, 2011 - 3:12 pm

    i wonder this too. i like to take pictures in downtown birmingham and i am constantly solicited for money. i never know what to do. I want to give to those in need but the need seems so great when you are asked 10 times in an hour’s walk for a hand out.
    I gave $10 to a person the first time I was ever asked and the man asked me if that was the best I could do. I almost cried …
    When you posted this picture on twitter i spent a fair amount of time condsidering this issue then. I still have no answer

  • amykiane - January 21, 2011 - 4:41 pm

    It is tough when your heart is telling you one thing, but your wallet and brain are telling you different. We dont have a lot of homeless people here. A social worker once told me they send them to Birmingham and Montgomery where they have shelters. So I try to remember that there are places to help. I also know of churches that take turns going downtown under one of the overpasses near the BJCC and take food that they pass out. I dont know that I will ever have an answer either. — Amy

  • Lindsey van Niekerk - January 22, 2011 - 10:33 pm

    After growing up in Haiti and living in South Africa, you come across a lot of homeless or poor or beggars or scammers, and it is hard to know what is real or not. I agree…stopping when you are alone may not be the wisest thing. I always asked the Holy Spirit to lead me and show me the right thing to do, and sometimes I would carry dry or canned goods in my car. It was a very thought-provoking picture and post!