I’m not big on crying in public nor do I cry often anymore. But on one particular day I started crying hard in public after a days-long ordeal concerning the safety of myself and others in a particular location in my life on the road for Jesus. I had reached my breaking point. And as the police were dealing with what needed to be dealt with, I stood at a distance and cried. Which is when two men whom I did not know acted in such a way I am compelled to share this message with you.
The first man was standing outside a place of business where he apparently worked looking at me with not an ounce of compassion, care, and concern on his face but instead a look of virtual disgust. Like I was a leper he wanted to keep far away from him. Like I might intrude on his life. Like he didn’t want his life upset by me not even by his seeing me. He solved his seeming problem. He turned away. When I tried briefly to explain why I was upset, he made clear by his manner and expression he wanted to have nothing to do with me not now not ever.
I felt restless as I waited for the police to finish responding to the 911 call I had made and ended up walking over to another building and sitting down in front of it. I cried some more. In just minutes, a man walked right up to me. In what came across as a soft, kind, and compassionate voice, though he appeared a bit shy about approaching me, this second man gently said, “Are you okay?”
I briefly explained the situation, he felt confident after hearing from me I would be okay, and off he went to continue on in his life.
Friend, this story is beautiful and tragic all at once. It speaks of the love to which God has called humanity – and it speaks of the love that so much of this world is missing right now.
Do you know the Bible story of the so-called Good Samaritan? While the men whom one would think would have helped the guy who got badly beaten up turned away from the one in need, the Samaritan went out of his way to love, help, show compassion toward, and care for the one in need. Jesus is teaching us in the parable about God’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves and reveals to us the one who obeys the command to love his neighbor is the one who shows mercy. Loving our neighbors has nothing to do with living next door to each other as neighbors. It has to do with loving and showing mercy and compassion and doing good and offering help and support, etc., to a world in need.
Friend, we can’t control what others do or don’t do in the way of love in a world and day and age in which there seems to be less and less love because of how many have their backs turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, but we you and I can choose each and every day to obey God’s greatest commands to love Him with all our hearts and to love others as ourselves. Oh, may we love! In the love of Christ, in the name of Christ, for the glory of Christ, oh let us love!
Oh, God, I am so moved by this story even as I write this message. I couldn’t see at the time, dear Father, how you would use what happened with those two men and myself to bring forth a message but am so thankful that you have. God, you have been showing me of late how far short I myself am falling in the way of love. Reminding me that we who follow you are to continually grow in your image and to ongoingly be transformed by you with correction along the way. Despite my exceeding desire to love and please you, oh Lord, and to love others, I still fall so terribly far short in my estimate anyway. I ask you, dear God, to teach me and my readers how to love each and every day in obedience to you. Forgive us for when we fall short in loving you and loving others, and oh, God, help us day by day to love and glorify you and to love, love, love others in your name! Thank you, God, AMEN!
“And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” 1 John 3:23
“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. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” Luke 10:30-37 KJV