I don’t know what it is about me, but I seem to attract sketchy looking beggars around here. Perhaps it is the fact that I am a young naive-looking female- who knows. Anyway, in the past couple months, I have been approached about four or five times in random parking lots (in Raleigh, not here in Clayton where we live) by men with the same story… “hey yo- my car is parked over in the next parking lot and I aint got no mo’ gas. I was wondering if you could spare some change and help a brotha out.”
Now, I am not typically one to get weirded out by beggars. I mean, I LOVE the poor! I just don’t know how to react to these recent abrasive and in-your-face encounters. I am really quite conflicted. I know we are called to love and serve the poor (and I must pose the question- are these guys who are coming up to me really poor??), but I also have felt unnerved and unsafe when approached. So, do I give my money and stay and talk even though I might be putting myself in an unsafe situation? (I hear my mother shouting “NO! NO!” at her computer screen right about now.) Do I walk past them and straight up ignore these men? (Don’t think so.) I don’t know.