“And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves,
which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him;
and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”
There is a story about a man who got hurt. Physically hurt. And he was hurt bad. He was in no position to help himself and he was completely at the mercy of other people. He had been beaten up by a group of bad guys and was left in the street for dead. There were 3 men who knew that this man had gotten hurt.
Man #1: He was a religious leader. He came in contact with this man while he was still laying in the road.
Man #2: He wasn’t a leader, but he was actively involved in helping in the duties and responsibilities of the religious institution. He also came in contact with this man while he was laying in the road.
Man #3: He was not in the religious circles. He wasn’t allowed. He was an outcast because he did not match their perfect world. His background made them all queasy and prejudiced – even the man in the road would not have liked him. He also came in contact with that man while the man lay in the road.
In this story, the hurt man was so badly hurt he could not even speak for himself. He could not cry out for help. He was only at the mercy of the those walking by and witnessing his plight. He had no one to yell for him and ask for help. He had no cell phone to dial 911. He was hurt bad and could do nothing about it. Man #1 walked by, saw him, crossed the street and went on. Man #2 walked by, saw him, and he too (following the leader) crossed the street and went on by. Man #3 walked by, saw the hurting man, felt compassion for him, dressed his wounds, took him to a safe location, personally took care of him, and then left money for his needs to be taken care of so that he could recover. Where was the religious leader? Where was the religious worker? Probably sitting smugly in their homes thankful that they were able to lead the people who day in their clean and comfy little world. Please hang with me for minute. I have something so passionate on my heart that I want to share with you.
I think that for years we have praised and shared the story of the Good Samaritan but I think we live more like the other two men while not even realizing it. I think that any of us feel that if we saw a hurt person in the road, that we would help them. In this day and age, it is very easy to do that. We stay, we console, we call 911, we check up on them, we post on Facebook and ask for lots of prayer. I agree that all of these things are wonderful. But what if I introduce you to a group of people who the Lord has brought me in the midst of. Not only was I introduced to them, I became one of them. When you become someone, your eyes are suddenly opened to the hurts they are facing. Your eyes are opened to what it feels like to lay in the middle of that road, unable to speak, and your every breath is praying that someone will please stop and help you.
You know, those religious ones didn’t go over and beat up on that guy. They didn’t “hurt him worse”. They didn’t know anything about his family, his finances, his acquaintances or his daily life. They didn’t need to know that. He wasn’t what they did. So they didn’t do anything. In doing nothing, they were just as guilty of leaving him for dead as the original bad guys were. There is a group of people who you have no clue about their life or world. They don’t sit around and complain most of the time. They are trying to get through their life, but they are hurting. They have been hurt – not only physically but emotionally. And not just by bad guys….but by those of us who claim to represent God. We have hurt them by doing nothing. The question is: Will you help or will you walk on by?
Over the next couple months on this blog, I will be focusing on posts that are related to what I feel is a major failure in our local churches. I will be focusing on this group of people who are all over. They are not all being mistreated. They are mostly just being ignored. I am in the ministry, and because of that, I have access to many ministries around this nation. We. Are. Failing.
Please follow this series of posts. Not for me – for them. Don’t walk by.
Series Post 1: Would You Walk On By