A lady who lives on my floor and would therefore be considered a neighbour, recently shared with me her experience with another neighbour.
Her husband had died some years previously. They had no children. When health factors required that she move from her house to a facility where care was provided, a neighbour volunteered to assist with the many challenges in making such a move. "I don't know how I would have made it without her," she said.
This neighbour has continued to be her friend, frequently visiting and taking her on outings. During the Christmas season, when our facility took us to hear Handel's Messiah, her neighbour came along as her companion.
The other day, this neighbour was taking Eleanor on an errand, when two incidents occurred which reminded her of the Parable of the Good Samaritan, which Jesus told in answer to the question, "Who is my neighbour?"
Luke 10:30-37 – In 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. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He 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. The 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.'" (NIV)
When the questioner admitted that the Samaritan had acted like a neighbour, Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
When my friends were leaving an office building on their errand, an elderly lady collapsed. Most just stayed away, but this "good Samaritan" rushed to the lady's side and stayed with her until emergency help arrived.
Then, as they were driving back, they passed a gentleman who was obviously in distress on the side of a busy street. The lady immediately found a spot to park safely and then returned to assist this confused person.
As we discussed these two incidents, we agreed that, while it was the right thing to do, far too often, we simply pass by. Excuses like "I'm too busy", "It's not safe", or "Someone else is responsible" come too easily to mind.
It takes effort to be a good Samaritan. It costs our time, and sometimes, it even involves risk.
But surely, Jesus taught us very plainly that we should live by that high standard: "Love your neighbour as yourself."
Prayer: Dear Father, help us to follow Your teachings and live like the good Samaritan. May we always be willing to show Your love to our neighbours at any cost. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Saviour Like A Shepherd Lead Us" (Lyrics)