Down the Backroads | There Are Many Ways to Help Others - Kentucky Farm Bureau

Down the Backroads | There Are Many Ways to Help Others

Posted on May 2, 2024

I think there is something inherent in most people to lend a helping hand to another who is obviously in need.

As a youngster growing up in a rural area, I saw acts of kindness often. I remember my dad always giving a ride to an older gentleman who lived across the road from us rather than let him walk the three miles to town.

I was with my dad on many occasions when he stopped to offer this person a ride. The two knew each other and would exchange small talk during the short drive.

But, as times changed, we were taught not to give rides to strangers because it would be too dangerous. And as we began to see people standing at busy intersections holding signs asking for food or money, once again, we were told to be leery of those individuals and certainly not to give them money.

So, teaching my children to be kind and helpful to those in need came with exceptions and cautions. But safety had to come first. We have become, as a society, more aware of the dangers that could arise from such encounters. I often have stared straight ahead and pretended not to see these folks while waiting for the light to turn green.  

But there have been those moments when I went against the advice I had given to my kids and was led to do more than pass one of these folks by.

One of those instances came on a sunny morning several years ago when my youngest son and I were headed out for a day of activities. This trip rightly began, in my mind anyway, with a stop at a nearby fast-food place for a bag of sausage biscuits. As we made the turn, there stood a young but frail-looking man holding a sign asking for food or money.

His eyes met mine and something told me I should help as I watched others pass him by. I got extra food in a separate bag and stopped in front of him on the side of the highway. I gave him the food and asked if I could pray with him.

After our prayer, he thanked me and immediately sat against the guardrail to gobble down the sausage biscuits as though he had not eaten in quite some time.

I left him thinking I could have done so much more as we went on our way. But the look in his eyes and the sight of him devouring that food gave me cause to go back and at least try to offer him more assistance – although, at the time, I had no idea what that would be.

However, he was no longer there by the side of the road or in sight anywhere. And I felt as if I had missed an opportunity to do more, despite sharing food and a prayer with him.

I’m not suggesting everyone must do as I did that day. But for me, this incident was a reminder that there are many ways to help others in a safe, mindful, and Christian way, as we travel down the backroads. 

Romans 12:13(NIV) Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Tim Thornberry
Editor, KFB News


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