Proverbs 19:17-18

The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the Lord,
and the Lord will repay him for his good deed.
Discipline your child, for there is hope,
but do not set your heart on causing his death.

You pull into your driveway. You’ve just spent a long day at work and you are ready to get inside. As you are getting out of your car, you see someone approaching. “If only I’d parked in the garage,” you think to yourself, “I’d be inside right now, instead I’m going to have to endure some conversation I have no interest in.”

It’s your neighbor, Ed. Ed is a widower. He lives a few houses down, so you don’t really ever interact with him. But, you got to know him one day when you were out for a walk and he needed some help. Since he’s pretty lonely, he talks a lot. He spends most of his day talking back to the tv. From the news to court tv, that’s pretty much the only conversation he has.

You care about Ed, but you know that if you engage in the conversation, you won’t be inside to eat dinner any time soon. So, you try to pretend like you didn’t see him.

But it doesn’t work. He calls out your name, and so you are obligated to turn around and say hi. You try to do everything you can to clue Ed in that you’re in a hurry to get inside. You fidget with your clothes. Maybe you loosen your tie and take off your jacket. Or you take off your watch, pull out your phone, send a text message. Etc.

He doesn’t get the hint. Actually, he doesn’t get the multitude of hints.

So, you engage in the conversation, hoping that if you give Ed the satisfaction that he needs you’ll be able to get to what you really want to do. Then Ed tells you what has happened.

His wife’s life insurance is stuck in some loop hole in the system. His social security isn’t enough to get him by until next month and he just needs a hundred dollars to get him by til next month. As soon as the life insurance kicks, or his son finally decides to visit, he’ll pay you back.

What do you do?

“The one who is gracious to the poor, lends to the Lord, and the Lord will repay him for his good deed.”