Be the Change You Want to See: Homeless Man Returns Bag with $40,000, Another Man (Pike Road, AL native) Raises $100,000 For Him

What an amazing story. Glen James, a homeless man who panhandled for spare change in Boston, found a bag left behind by a traveler with $40,000. Instead of keeping it for himself (and he definitely could have used it), he turned it in to the police. James cited his faith in God and his trust that God would take care of him as the reason that he cared more about returning the money to the man who lost it than he did about his own needs. He said that he never even thought about keeping it. James was awarded a citation by the Boston police for his character and his integrity. That story made national news a few days ago.

But, that is not the end. 27 year old Ethan Whittington who lives in Virginia but was raised in Pike Road, AL (a community right next to Montgomery) heard about what Mr. James did and wanted to help him. He set up a fundraising account on and put the word out to America to help and honor this man who was honest. Within a few days, almost $100,000 has been given to help Mr. James from people all over the country who are encouraged to see that there are trustworthy and honest people left in the world!

If Christians are going to change things, it is going to be this way – one selfless act at a time. We have lost the cultural consensus, but we retain the cultural memory. When people see a selfless act of love, honesty, integrity, and concern for others, they respond. Something in the leaps up and says, “This is good, true, and beautiful.” This is the way that Jesus tells us to live and when we live this way, we shine like stars in the darkness.

Stories like this and the sorority girls at the University of Alabama standing up against racism should encourage us to see that social change is possible when just one person steps up and does the right thing, This type of living echoes throughout the culture – even if it is opposed. No matter who you are or where you are placed, you can make a difference in your world. Do the right thing. Walk with God. Bless others. Have a vision of what things will be like in God’s Kingdom and live as though it is so. I really think that God speaks to a nation through event like these to remind us of right and wrong and to point the way to how we are supposed to live. He never stops calling us, even if we aren’t listening. God keeps calling.

He has shown thee, O Man, what is good and what The Lord requires of thee. To do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.” Micah 6:8


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