This morning my wife and I were abruptly woken by someone pounding on our door…at 5:30 a.m. I shuffled out of bed, grabbed my glasses and went downstairs to see who it was at our door. I spoke through the door, which was double locked for those concerned, and asked who they were and what they wanted. It was a guy I’ve never seen before and he wanted to come inside and sleep. He looked like he might be high or possibly homeless – or I suppose both. I told him no, then he offered to pay me $5 and again I turned him down. Then he asked for socks, so I grabbed a pair of socks and through them out a window for him – I wasn’t about to open the door for him. Then I asked him to leave and he did.
He probably wasn’t violent or dangerous, but I was cautious nonetheless. I always feel conflicted about these types of situations. Christ tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves and that he is the “least of these”. Where do you draw the line between being faithful and cautious. It’s not like homeless and/or poor people suddenly became dangerous in the past century. I’m sure there were some who were dangerous in Christ’s day. I’m pretty sure we did the right thing and we’ve subsequently prayed for the guy, but is that all just rationalization to make ourselves feel better about turning him away?
I could go on and on about this, but I think the point is out there. How and where do you draw the line between compassion and caution?