“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.”
In the introduction post, Would You Walk On By, I introduced you to a series that I am writing about a key missing ingredient in our churches and something that is very dear and personal in my own life. I want to thank you for reading and following this series as I am passionate about it and I believe the Lord is using my husband and I to help make a difference in our generation.
Jesus came to this earth to suffer. He suffered for you and I by the way, and so His suffering had real meaning and purpose. Jesus also said that if we follow Him that we will also suffer. We often hope this to mean that I would be willing to be a martyr and suffer for Jesus if it ever came to it. What we often DON”T mean is that we are prepared to have a life of suffering, and suffer in ways that have no meaning to us. We cannot even fathom how our suffering has any meaning whatsoever so it feels so useless, pointless and down-right mean of God.
Let me encourage you that like Jesus’ example, suffering always has a point! The problem is that most churches and leadership are equally as clueless as to how to answer the questions of life about suffering as the sufferer is. The groups of people who suffer are many. My primary focus is on families that have special needs since that is the description of our family. Because it is so hard to answer these questions, and because we feel so uncomfortable dealing with these issues, the disabled community has been put on the back burner of the local church. What a shame since Jesus dealt with it His entire public ministry! The church has been asleep and it is time to wake up!
In the last post, I told you about the Good Samaritan. Actually, I wasn’t the first person to talk about this story. Jesus was. He used it to teach us who our neighbors were – you know the ones we are to love right along with our love for God. Jesus was teaching us that our true love for God is shown through loving our neighbors. Then He uses this story as His example. I am SO glad He did, because it shows where we are missing this whole “loving others” concept so completely – at least in one very important group of people.
I believe that if you are reading this blog, then you are not one that would intentionally walk on by. I believe that you are the ones that would have stopped to help. I believe that you would have wanted to help because you had compassion. That word compassion – that is what the good Samaritan had, and it is what made him different from the ones who had walked on by. In my next few blog posts, I want to show you what practical compassion looks like. Allow me to do it from the perspective of the man laying in the road. The one who has been taken advantage of, robbed, hurt, bleeding and unable to speak up for himself left for dead. Allow me to introduce you to some stories that will both break and cheer your hearts. I believe that “to whom much is given, much is required”. Allow me to push you to a “given” place – so that you will then be required to make a choice if you will do something about it or not.
If you re-read the story of the Good Samaritan, the very first thing that all 3 guys did were “to come where he was”. They were all in the same location and they all had the same view of the man in the road. The first two walked on by. The Good Samaritan stopped. Then, the Bible says that they all “saw him”. They all saw his condition. They didn’t just see a body in the road. They saw a very hurt person. Someone that was still alive and breathing and could be helped. What an opportunity! The first two guys saw this….and walked on by. The Good Samaritan stopped.
Why? What made the Samaritan stop and what was missing in the lives of those two other men? Compassion. I am reminded of another verse in the Bible that says “And of some have compassion, making a difference:” (Jude 1:22) Compassion can make a huge difference in the lives of others. That was what completely separated the Good Samaritan out in Jesus’ example. That is what made the difference in the life of that man in the road. This is what will truly compel us to change what is NOT happening in our churches. It will be compassion. We will see in the following weeks what practical compassion really means. The Good Samaritan could have wept over that man, felt sorry for that man, told the man that he sure was sorry this had happened to him, and all sorts of other “talk”. True compassion does not talk. It acts.
Please watch this short video for my illustration:
If the name of one of these people in this video was “the man in the road” would compassion have made a difference? Do you see the American girl in the wheelchair holding some of those little children? She is a paralyzed. She inspires me! She could sit at home and be ministered too but her compassion for what she KNOWS has led her to make a difference in what she DOES. And she is – practically loving and helping one child at a time. If she can do that with a broken body, how much more can those of you with whole bodies do? I cannot plead enough for you to get on board! There are those of us doing what we can, but part of my job is to recruit for those who cannot do this for themselves. The man in the road could not ask for help, but I can ask it for him. I love the Good Samaritan. I love his compassion. I love that he did not care if everyone else was helping or not. I love that he had a tender heart – maybe because he understood rejection – and he made a difference. Oh, what a story. Thank you Jesus for telling it to us!
If you have not “walked on by”, if you feel compassion and want to make a difference but just aren’t sure how to, then stay connected with this blog and keep reading. Over the next few weeks, I will help get you there! If you have ANY questions, please feel free to write me or comment and I will answer you. If you are in ministry, my husband has just started a Facebook page to help Pastor’s and Christian leaders as we will try to help guide you with ideas, networking and suggestions. We are here for you. Will you be there for the disabled?
Help me change compassion from a noun to a verb. Let’s get busy!