He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done. Proverbs 19:17, NIV.
When most people hear the name Jesse James, they think, Outlaw! Thief! Bandit! But like most people, the infamous raider of the 1800s was more complex than that.
The story is told about H. C. Wantland, a Methodist minister traveling through his area of ministry (called a parish) in Missouri. The sun was setting on the horizon when Jesse James rode up beside his buggy.
“Hello there, Jesse,” the minister called.
“What are you doing out here?” the bandit asked.
“Collecting money for the poor,” the minister admitted.
“Got much on you?”
Jesse started in surprise. “Six hundred dollars is a lot of money, Preacher!”
“Yes, it is, Jesse.”
The bandit frowned. “Don’t you know better than to carry that much cash on you? Someone is liable to rob you.”
“That’s true,” the minister admitted.
“You’re lucky I came along when I did. I’ll see you get home safely, Preacher.”
Even such a thief as Jesse James wasn’t all bad all the time. Only God can judge a person’s heart for good or evil.
“Popsicles, Black Holes & Burnt Toast” - Kay Rizzo