It's Thursday night and I was already running on fumes by Tuesday. Forgive me if this post feels choppy, please. I'm trying to give life to thoughts I had in my head this morning, but talking it out as I go.
And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it? ” So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, 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. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37 NKJV)
What if the certain man was our little boy?
Then the thieves could be his circumstances. The emotional, physical, psychological wounds. The seemed upside-down story of his life.
Maybe the priest is a faulty system. Or people who saw triggers or signs that predate him but failed to address them.
The Levite could be peers who just see trouble or pity him, essentially slicing his identity down to a condition or a situation or a bunch of labels.
The Samaritan is the person who heals, gives and shares their own resources, provides shelter, ensures Certain Man's welfare beyond the first night, even though that could have been fair enough. "As he journeyed" - implies this is an interruption in their life, an inconvenience, but still, they follow through. There is no fanfare, no demand for attention over what he has done for him - just simply "take care of him". And while Jesus ends the story there, no doubt Certain Man's trajectory is changed.
Jesus, please, please keep me brave enough to be and stay the Samaritan.