Jesus told us, “Go and do the same” as the Good Samaritan. Go and
- Be that caring.
- Recognize the need right in front of you.
- Be willing to reach out to someone who is different than you.
- Break down the barriers and go the extra mile.
- Dare to speak up.
That’s what it means to love God and our neighbor. How do we do that?
Maybe we can be inspired by Good Samaritans we have encountered in our lives. Have you met one? I know I have.
- The stranger who paid for my coffee in the drive-through lane.
- The kind lady who allowed me to go ahead of her in line at the grocery store.
- The thoughtful person who left scones at church for me and my secretary, with a note, “You are appreciated!” It made our day.
There was the family who gave me a ride to a distant city when I was in college. When I missed the bus to my summer job, they brought me to their home, fed me supper, let me stay overnight, and then delivered me to the correct bus in the morning. I don’t remember their names, but I cherish the memory of their kindness and hospitality.
Good Samaritans are all around us, if we look. I see them in
- The volunteers who cook for our community kitchen each week.
- The man who brings the newspaper in every day for his homebound neighbor.
- The child who draws a picture to cheer up a sick friend.
- The knitters who create prayer shawls.
- The young mother who breastfeeds an abandoned baby in foster care so he’ll have a healthy start on life.
None of those actions change the world. Neither did the Good Samaritan; he simply helped one wounded stranger by the roadside. But the story of his compassion is being told 2000 years later because he made a difference.
There’s much we can’t do. That shouldn’t stop us from doing what we can. We need to share kindness. We need to love our neighbor. We need to go past our comfort zone and reach out to others. We need to recognize that stranger as another one of God’s beloved children.
We need to go and do the same.