Friday, January 2, 2009

Luke, Chapter 10 part 2

The other night I was driving home from a basketball game I had covered. We happen to live in a nice building, but it is surrounded by a more run down part of town. This one street in particular is the image many would conjure up when you think “bad neighborhood”. Still, it is the best way to get to two major arteries in the city from our place. When stopped at a light on this street just before turning onto the street our building is on this woman was standing at a bus stop. It was about 9:30 at night, but she came up and started saying, “Sir! Sir!” toward my closed window.

This is where I failed in life’s test.

See, I had a chance here to do what Jesus calls us to do in the second half of Luke 10. Instead, I succumbed to my fear and doubt being in a bad neighborhood.

30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." – Luke 10:30-37

I do not know this woman’s issues. I don’t know if she was homeless, drunk, or high. I don’t know if she was needing legitimate help. I don’t know this because I didn’t bother to find out. I froze, starring straight out my windshield as if she didn’t exist. It’s not like I couldn’t do anything either. I normally carry zero to little cash in this age of debit cards, yet this was a rare time that I had actual cash in my pocket. If it was an emergency, similar to the one described above, I could have helped.

Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite. I do my part to donate food, clothing, money, etc. to various charities throughout the year. I do this without fanfare, not because I have to but because I am blessed and I need to share that blessing. Unfortunately, this leads to an attitude of, “hey, go to where I have donated if you want help.” It is a horrible attitude, and one that must stop in 2009. I am not one who is big on resolutions, but I do want this year to be one of changed attitudes and perceptions, beginning here.

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