I was recently reading a devotional that grabbed my attention. The devotional focused on the parable of the Good Samaritan. The author noted that each of us shares a fragility and humanness – each affected by the brokenness of the world. We share a common need. Jesus is the Good Samaritan who brings us our healing.
This insight got me to thinking more about this parable and its application. I know we have all read it from time to time and heard sermons on it.
The thing that struck me was the Good Samaritan’s willingness to not only minister to the need but he was prepared to pay the cost. He beautifully demonstrated the ability ‘to love our neighbour as ourselves’.
The parable depicts the Good Samaritan who pours oil and wine on the man’s injuries, places him on his own donkey and leads him to a reputable inn. The Good Samaritan asks the owner to lodge and care for the wounded man while he recovers. Two silver coins, representing two days of wages, are given to seal the deal and a promise made cover any additional costs.
As I pondered the realities of this scenario, three take aways came to mind.
First, we need to plan for the unexpected. This Good Samaritan had money in his pocket for the unexpected. Perhaps he had to deprive himself of some need or want. Yet, he had the resources on hand to do want he needed to do.
Second, the Good Samaritan was available when he was needed. There are times we know there is a need and we by-pass it. It may be too costly personally or financially. Or it may require saving up for the need. As the Lord moved on his heart, he could respond in the moment.
Lastly, the Good Samaritan sowed into someone’s life. We presume he did not know the injured man, but he was willing to express his love, count the cost and meet a need that existed in someone else’s life. He poured his love, concern and finances into the need.
There are times when I sense the Lord’s promptings and I do respond to the need. Yet, these realizations challenge me again. Could I meet the need in the moment? How about those panhandling on the street corners looking for a bit of change? I insulate myself by saying I do not carry cash with me.
Other times, I am simply in a hurry trying to get things done and trying to stay focused. My headspace is elsewhere. I miss being in the moment and seeing the need and responding. Or, I may say in mind that I will do it later but later never comes.
Then there are those moments when I do want to sow into people’s lives, but I become distracted, forget about the request or lose the email and the desire is lost or quickly forgotten.
I am challenged once again by the parable of the Good Samaritan. I hope you are too.