Journey of Service
Contributed by: Christy Everett
What do you think? Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man who encountered thieves?” Then the legal expert said, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
There is nothing quite like witnessing an act of kindness take place. I often wonder though, are we selective about who is worthy of our help? If so, could this be because our help means giving of our limited time or is it perhaps the risk? Having the courage to anticipate what another person may need can be daunting. It can even feel presumptuous; who am I to decide what this person needs? I imagine the priest and the Levite may have had some of the same thoughts that many of us have today. For the priest, maybe it was something like, if I stop, will his robbers return or, what if I help this man and he still dies? Is this person worth putting me or my family in danger?
Pain comes in so many forms and so often it is not as obvious as a man lying on the side of the road. Sometimes, and often just as dire, we notice friends or family members who are acting out or withdrawing. Often, we see people who may be in pain, but instead of sharing, they begin to focus on the behaviors of others. What if, instead of problem-solving with our spouse or another friend, we were to pray to God to work through us as we reach out to our brother or sister. I just wonder how He would speak through us if given the chance. Likewise, what if we were to allow ourselves to become like the man injured on the side of the road? Some of us long to share our pain, but we are afraid of being a burden, or what if it becomes the neighborhood gossip? I believe if we take this step with Him, God works through these moments to not only heal us, but to show others that they are not alone. I believe that in these times, God may send who we’d least expect, as Jesus was so purposeful in who he depicted in His story. Because you see, it is not only a story of rescue but a story of who – who is worthy of my help, and from whom will I accept help? He calls us to help and to serve one another, and the ‘who’ makes no difference. For you are His, as is your brother or sister who longs to help you or, who may need your help. For it is in this service that we are able to accept His open invitation to experience His Kingdom, right here, right now, on this day.