Monday, December 27, 2010

A Beggar’s Purse by Toni Nelson

I drove past a homeless man on the corner today. He held a sign that read, “Desperate, please help.” Instead of ignoring the man like I might have before I read A Beggar’s Purse by Toni Nelson, I looked at his face. I don’t know his name, but somebody does. Somebody is his mother, his son, his friend.

I like to think that I am a compassionate person, someone who is willing to help others, especially those in dire need. But I hesitate to hand money to a “street person” because of those who take advantage of the good-will of others to feed the addictions that have led them to where they are.

After reading A Beggar’s Purse, I have begun overcoming the stigma that I associate with the homeless.  This is a quick read, I finished it in about an hour.

Food to eat while reading: Hobo Waffles
When I started reading Nelson’s memoir, I prepared myself to bristle at being preached to. I relaxed when I found that Nelson has struggled with the same uncomfortable questions that I have when I see the homeless asking for money on a street corner-like why don’t they get a real job?

The book reads like a novel with insights from the author’s experiences growing up in a house by a railroad where traveling hobos were common guests for dinner. The anecdotes drew me into her story and made it easy for me to understand how she came to her conclusions.

I love that the author isn’t a full-time crusader who gives all of her time and energy to the needy. That may sound harsh and I admire those who may devote their lives to a cause. But the majority of us are plodding away in our own spheres. Nelson shows how we can include the less-fortunate in our daily lives, by simply being willing to smile and learn a person’s name or offer to give them a meal.

I wish I could say that I stopped and helped the man on the corner this morning. I didn’t have any way of giving him some food. I did resolve to purchase a McDonald’s gift card(a form of money that can only be spent on food) to have on hand. I will keep it in my purse and the next time I pass by the desperate who are in need, I will have something to give.

“Am I being used by the so-called street people, or am I being used by God? I believe the Bible refers to the term as being a servant.” A Beggar’s Purse by Toni Nelson (p.87)

Purchase: A Beggars Purse
Genre: memoir
Publisher: July 6th 2010 by Tate Publishing
Where I got the book: Goodreads Giveaway from Toni Nelson*

*I received only a copy of the book as compensation for my review.


  1. excellent points. there is always some way for us to help!

  2. Hand Embroidered Linens | Luxury Linens | Bedding Sets NZ : Indian Summer Linen: Find the finest handcrafted custom linen work, cotton bedding set, and cot sheets in NZ at Indian Summer Linen. We offer a wide variety of products that will complete your linen collection.

  3. Drug Rehab Lansing | Munster | Schererville: Our qualified staff and doctors are the foundation of our drug rehabilitation center. Individuals in search of alcohol or drug rehab can rely on Alliance MD to help them be on a path to sobriety.

  4. Home Health Agency | In Home Nursing Care ● CareSense Home Health Care: Our agency provides compassionate home health care in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Reading, Allentown and the greater Pennsylvania area. Contact us today for home care and in home nursing care you can trust.

    Source: Home Health Agency Allentown

  5. How to Reheat Pizza in the Toaster Oven - Robust Kitchen: Toaster ovens are perfect for reheating. They're quick, efficient and the easiest way to make that food taste fresh again. This is increasingly true for reheating pizza. The high direct heat and warm air can char the bottom, while remelting the cheese perfectly (without burning it).

    Source: How to reheat pizza

  6. Great share, thank you Christy! Be sure to check out my new blog - I think you'll like!


Leave me a comment-I'd love to hear what you think!