A Mayberry Moment

Saturday, January 27, 2024
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing"1 (Lyrics)

Luke 10:34 – Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. (NLT)

"Are you ready to hear a Mayberry moment?"

I once pastored a small country church near a tiny country town — located, in fact, in the smallest county in the state. The chairman of the deacons served as the chief of police. We always kidded each other about the town having many similarities to the fictitious town of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show.

"What happened in Mayberry this week," I'd often ask him when he walked into the church on Sunday morning. One Sunday morning, I didn't have to ask; he just told.

One of our shut-ins had called him on a particular day that week and asked, "Is the lobster truck in town?"

It seems that a business from a nearby town had a fish wagon that served lobster sandwiches on a specific day of the week. Since this lady couldn't get out on her own, she decided to call the local chief of police to see if he would run down to the travelling restaurant, purchase her a sandwich, and deliver it. Never mind that he needed to look out for criminals, watch for speeders rushing through his small town, or take care of any number of other town situations. She wanted a lobster sandwich.

Being the kind person that he was — the Andy Taylor kind of guy — he bought her the sandwich and delivered it. It was much like the time when the remote for her television wasn't working, and he made a run to replace her batteries. As far as I know, she never had a cat that needed rescuing from a tree or roof. I'm sure that he would have done that as well.

He was a Good Samaritan, much like the one Jesus talked about in His story — a story that many who have never even read the Bible know. He stopped to help the person whom others had passed by, using his own funds and materials to care for him.

Our world needs more Mayberry moments. When I watch The Andy Griffith Show, I long to live in such a town and in such a time. My childhood was somewhat like that, but those days are long gone in most places — except in that small town where I once pastored, in a time when people knew their neighbours and helped them, in a place where people cared for others and knew not only their names but also their family members.

Mayberry moments surround us; we must just look for them — and not gripe when they come along, but willingly and lovingly get that lobster sandwich or change the batteries in the remote. Yes, those moments infringe upon our time, but such also did so for the Good Samaritan. Yes, Jesus praised him. He had done the right thing. Christ will praise us, too, and we'll enjoy life much more when we put others above ourselves.

How can we do a better job of seeing the Mayberry moments?

Prayer: Father, send us the Mayberry moments and then give us the spiritual eyes to see them. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good one Martin.

    Love this! Thanks.

    I LOVE this, Martin. Thank you.

    Beautiful Martin! So much decay in community. And rightfully in enormous need! Blessings.

    Thank you so much for all your daily encouragement. They give me lots to think about as well as many smiles.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with the uplifting reminder! The Andy Griffith show was a favorite in our home when I was a child. Blessings.

    I love your analogy, and you are right, we need more Mayberry Moments and more Good Samaritans.
    Keep writing!!

    This was a heartwarming message and a reminder of how wonderful it is when we truly love our Lord, and that love extends genuinely to others as well. Thanks for writing today, Martin.

    Martin – what a thought-provoking theme for this devotional. So many of us can identify with Mayberry, and be encouraged to act accordingly.
    Definitely a kinder, gentler community.

    Thanks, Martin, for this very mindful devotional today. Yes, it is important that we reach out and be willing to help others at all times. Even the smallest gesture can make a big difference in their situation. Blessings for these special writings you do.

    I always enjoy an Andy Griffith story in a devotion, and yes, I’ve taught more than one Sunday School lesson based on Opie’s Charity. You and Aunt Bee are having chicken, looks like I’m having crow.
    Thank you!

    Good morning.
    Love the Mayberry situations!!! Yes, may God open our eyes to see and respond to those situations!!!
    God bless.

    Thanks for this Martin. I have similar memories of pastoring in a small town.
    For some reason, I recall my memories of being the Samaritan as a blessing in my own life. You’ll understand.

    Bro Wiles:
    Thank you for your devotion.
    I have shared it with our church family, as we prepare for Lord’s Day.
    Every blessing to you and yours.

    Love it!
    Bible Study this am, encouraged me to have a “strategy” (based on Lydia) to reach others. Now your Mayberry analogy!
    Thanks, Martin, for jogging a “Mayberry Memo” at the start of this day!
    Bless you,

    Hi Martin,
    What a great devotional today, I really enjoyed it. May we all have lots of Mayberry moments and gladly help others around us.
    Blessings to you each and every day.
    (Ont. Canada)

    Hello Martin,
    What a delightful message you shared with us today. This tiny little county where everyone knows your name would be my kind of place to live. It’s a blessing in disguise to have someone who is willing to do little things for us as we get older and live far away from our immediate family and children.

    Good Morning, Martin,
    Thanks for the Mayberry moment. Before we retired to live in our rural area of Texas we lived for 30 plus years in Houston …hardly a rural area, but we indeed experienced Mayberry. Our street was Mayberry. Four of the families on the one-block long street worshiped together at the same Presbyterian Church. Everyone knew each other and there were many families with kids. NEVER did we worry about where our children were. NEVER did we worry if we needed something…we could count on our neighbors just as “your” town counted on the Chief of Police. I had never put that “growing up” experience in the context of the Good Samaritan, but indeed, it was.
    We recently were in Houston for the funeral of one of those “Mayberry” friends. While discussing our experience on that street, one friend said, “Why was it so magical?” We explored that…nearly everyone attended church, children of the same age, etc., but until now I did not make a Good Samaritan connection.
    Thank you.

    What a wonderful way to reinforce the moments of the Good Samaritan, that we can and should be looking out for on our daily journeys.
    Thank you so much !!

    This is such a good picture of life as it used to be — and what we can do to make “Mayberry moments” happen in our lives.

    Thank you for such an uplifting devotional. There are Mayberry moments even today in small communities, we all need them, but I feel that the police chief in you small town most likely benefitted from his acts of good also. Again, thanks for your calming devotionals, I always look forward to them. Blessings.


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