In Luke 10 there was a man walking with his possessions. Might have been a dark and stormy night, but that was the least of his troubles.
From nowhere he was attacked by several men who took what he had and then proceeded to beat the snot out of him. They left him lying there on the side of the road as they cackled maniacally about their deeds while they exited stage left.
Enter stage right: A highly learned man of God’s Law made it to the scene. It’s not told whether the man cried for help, but it didn’t matter. This educated man had important things to do and how could he present himself as a righteously smart guy with blood on his clothes and running late. He walked on by.
Next guy on the scene was another religious man. Surely, this fellow had heard the laws about loving others and helping those in need, but maybe he had a song stuck in his head and couldn’t recall the law at that moment. So he walked on by too.
Third guy appears. It’s one of those low life cretins from Samaria. He was on his way to somewhere, but saw the battered man on the side of the road. He forgot everything and rushed to help. Tending his wounds and then helping him to the closest inn to further help him. The Samaritan took it another step and provided for the mam’s future care with his own money.
Jesus told this story to some wise teachers who hated Samaritans and wanted to know what God’s Law meant when it said “Love thy neighbor. Who was technically a “neighbor?”
They has to admit that the scuzzy Samaritan showed God’s love best.
My 8 year old daughter came home from school the other day with BIG news. (With kids all news is BIG news) A little girl in another class had broken her arm. I told her that was very painful and asked if she had expressed sorrow for the pain of this little broken girl.
“No. She doesn’t even look at me or like me.”
I then told her maybe she could draw a nice picture and write the words “Feel Better Soon.” to give to her the next day. Because that is one way we show God’s love.
She flat out refused to do it. Hey, work in progress.
Later that week, Brian got Ill and she did write him a “Get Well” card. Baby steps.
A lot of times I have felt like my daughter and those religious leaders mentioned above. I know I’m supposed to show love and compassion, but we don’t like each other, have the same beliefs, run in the same circles, etc.
Sometimes it is not as obvious as the guy laying on the road or a little broken girl. Many times we don’t even see the anguish that someone is feeling. I learned this well after my late husband’s suicide. I also was guilty of it by shoving my own pain down and doing my usual comedian routine.
I’ve learned a lot since those times. I’ve learned that everyone around us is fighting or will fight a hard battle at some point in life. No escape from that, because that’s “Life.” I’ve learned to be most like my Creator who has blessed me with grace and mercy when I least deserved it, I gotta love those around me and help them. Even if I don’t like them one teeny bit. Anyone, everyone and all those in-between.