I almost had the car door closed when I heard him call. I turned and he walked over.
"My name's John Phillips and I'm from Chillicothe and I'll be honest - my problem's money," is the way he began. He went on to tell me that he had tried one gas station and then another to see if any of them could help him, but no! None of the for profit establishments would give away gas! The nerve! He went on to ask if, by chance, I could help him out.
At first, I did not want to help this guy. With every fiber of my being I wanted to say no and I have a decent reason for denying him. But another voice in my head said something like, "Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you." (Matt 5:42, ESV)
And as it turns out, I had cash. I don't usually. But I gave him some money and watched him go. And I prayed.
Because I had a reason for telling him no.
You see, some time in the last few months, maybe six months ago, on the Walmart parking lot, John Phillips of Chillicothe called out to me and came over to say that, being honest, his problem was money. And that he had been to one gas station and another and they would not give him any gas. And then he asked for money. That time I said no because I did not have cash.
I'll be honest, my problem is this: When is John Phillips from Chillicothe going to get it figured out how much gas it takes to get to Springfield and back?