"There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man."A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man's condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I'll pay you on my way back.'
"What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?""The one who treated him kindly," the religion scholar responded.Jesus said, "Go and do the same."Luke 10:25-37, New International Version
Several days late, this parable from the Bible is my contribution to the Hump Day Hmm-er.
As I thought about the people in my neighborhood, I knew that all I could really write was about how litte I know about my neighbors. I know about half the names of the people living on my street. I talk to a few of them. We aren't close. We don't hang out in the front yard shooting the breeze. It's been eleven years and I don't really see it changing.
But, as I pondered the subject, the story of the Good Samaritan came to mind. The ultimate neighbor story, I think. The word Samaritan has an entirely positive connotation for most people. But there was a time, let's say around the time that Jesus was alive, when hearing the word Samaritan did not bring up warm fuzzy images of helping others. No, the Samaritans were outcasts. They weren't accepted. That fact is what makes this story revolutionary for its time. The people who were looked up to and respected in Jesus' circle had no mercy. The man who would not have been spoken to by these respectable, religious men--they might even have crossed the road to avoid contact with him--he helped the man in need.
I hope that in my life I can embrace being the kind of neighbor Jesus talked about. To the world, I might be considered one of those respectable, religious people. I am not an outcast. I go to church. I'm a leader in my church. I never want to be so busy, so puffed up with myself, though, that I pass by someone who needs my help. I hope that I can have the Samaritan's heart, one that will go out to others, not only to stop and help, but go above and beyond in doing what I can for others.