Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Today there was a "homeless" guy at the Safeway parking lot entrance. He had a sign saying something like "hungry, homeless, Jesus loves." I parked and, as I approached the door to the market only 30 yds from the hapless fellow, I encountered a young woman Salvation Army bellringer standing adjacent her pot shaking her bell and producing that familiar repetitous tone. Although I didn't say anything, I thought of catching her attention, point to the fellow and, in a polite voice, recommend something like "Perhaps you might take that kettle over there and dump some coins in that guy's hands. That's what you're here for... isn't it?" Of course, the plainly-clothed, totally-bored bellringer had been hired by her employer at minimum wage to stand there for a shift and seek donations. I am sure that the Salvation Army at corporate had figured that all the nation's bellringers' yield, aka gross income, would exceed gross expense, producing a handsome gain and the net, of course, would be tax free. Then again I considered that, encouraging good deeds by feeding that vessel, might be for them another way to cook up business, like a supermarket's loss leader, created for the purpose of improving public image in order to facilitate advantage over rivals competing in other profit centers.
Next I thought something like, why don't I go up to the guy on the corner and suggest he walk over and ask her for some help from her collection. After all, wasn't she a soldier of Christ? However, I didn't do this either. From someplace within me, I knew already the outcome. She didn't have any spare change.