We live in a world that is enlivened by opposites.
We see contrasted elements of texture, color and design in creation. Rugged cliffs edged by peaceful waters. Blankets of soft fresh green grass surrounded by ancient stones. Billowing gentle clouds often announcing fierce downpours.
In our lives we can experience deep sadness that gives birth to great joy. Laughter that turns to tears or the light of peace that pierces the darkness of dread.
From these vastly differing and changing landscapes, we can ascertain that the way things are are not the way they will always be, and that where we are is not where were going to be forever.
Actually, it is pretty amazing how quick things really can shift.
I was thinking about this concept in terms of our experiences and how we relate to those around us.
Somedays recently I have thought things like ...”Today I will have the grand goal of getting up and getting dressed!”
But then, I actually get up get dressed feel better and then find myself outside of the house and around people ( this is big these days, though I believe it will not always be like this.)
But in this season, this cautious pace has caused me to slow down, not only physically but also mentally. ( no wise cracks here ok..:0 )
To have the opportunity to see things and people at a more deliberate pace is a blessing.
I believe there is always someone opposite us. Someone across from us that we can see and affect or be affected by no matter where we are.
For example, my daily trips for the last 20 days have taken me to Radiation Oncology at UMC. Sitting in that waiting room, I have seen many people “across” the room from me
A young anxious mom with a bald headed teenager in pj’s. Another bald headed teenager with his dad, toting an IV pole. A middle aged man telling someone, anyone who would listen, that he hasn’t been able to drink water for a long time and that they are going to try to teach him how to eat starting tonight.
A women in a wheel chair with a bandage on her neck seeking to sooth the burn of radiation.
These are just a few.
Now there has been a day or two when I have made it there and stumbled into the back room for an IV fluid infusion to deal with the dehydration that chemo and radiation can bring. (Not poor me please, I’m just thankful that the Lord provided this treatment and it helps so much!)
On those days, I have to think that I was the one across the room from someone else and they reached out to me. The nurse with her comforting ways, the receptionist who got me situated quickly, saying kind words and those who reached out in prayer across the city from their homes or across the county through emails.
But, as I find myself on better days, I can then again see the others across the room,
And, I can pray for them, perhaps offer a word of hope, encouragement or camaraderie or maybe just a smile.
I believe we are all meant to cross the street and touch those around us in some way, when and as we can.
The example that comes to my mind is that of a man who was on a journey and on his way, passed through a “racially tense” situation
He dared to overcome personal obstacles crossing the street of prejudice, busyness, and inconvenience to touch someone very opposite him in what they were experiencing. He was having a good day. They weren’t.
Let’s look at the difference his gestures and choices made.
25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
27 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.’ ”
28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 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. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 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. 35 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.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
For those of us who want to make a difference in our worlds, Jesus’ final words in this account are our source and strength.
“ Go and do likewise”
“ Go and do likewise”
There is always someone across the room or across the street or across the city or county that we can reach out to with compassion and touch.
A phone call, a prayer, an act of mercy or practical help, an all important visit to listen and just sit with someone suffering. These are all great gifts that may cost us some comfort, but trying to exist only for our own comfort is a sickbed of it’s own.
Perhaps today you are the one that finds yourself on the side of the street needing a good Samaritan to cross over and encourage you.
If so, post your prayer request here. There are lots of prayer warrior princesses ( and princes I dare say..:) out here who will pray. You are not alone. And He hears every cry of our broken hearts.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-5
If you have a story of a “good Samaritan” touching your life. Briefly share it here. It know it will encourage the rest of us to “Go and do likewise.”
I’m so excited! I just love stories!
And always remember, Jesus literally Cross-ed the street of suffering to show you His great love.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”