Once again I’ve gotten behind with the blog. Life seems to be on extreme fast forward lately. Living in the land of the midnight sun means there have been very few days I have gone to bed before midnight lately. Truthfully I’m getting worn out. Last night was no different. As the late hours of the evening closed in, I realized I hadn’t written my blog. I was torn between throwing something together just for the sake of accomplishing the task, and waiting until today to write. Ultimately I decided to wait. I figured it would be better to write nothing at all, than to just throw something together that wasn’t what God had inspired.
Today on my way to work I had dozens of ideas mulling around in my head. Some ideas are far too deep to throw together last minute, some are too surface to be meaningful, and so as I drove I prayed “Lord, guide me. Give me what you want me to write about.” I had an idea in mind and started researching scripture for the topic when something entirely different was brought to light. In conversation with one of my best friends, God brought up the parable of the Good Samaritan.
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.”
The parable being brought to light today wasn’t for the sake of having something to write about. It was a call to action. God was instructing me to move. I was made aware of a situation that broke my heart. The situation didn’t affect me directly at all, but in the moment I heard God say “If this really breaks your heart, do something about it. Be more than moved internally, move physically. Don’t move to the other side of the road in pity, or in busyness, stop what you are doing and move.” It made me really evaluate myself. How often am I MOVED with compassion? I think of people often, I pray for their situations, I have pity internally; I sorrow or sometimes even weep for them, but how often do I MOVE? How often do I take what God has given me and use it? How often do I go and do likewise? The answer is, not often enough.
I may not be wealthy enough to pay for someone who doesn’t have a place to sleep to stay somewhere for a few days like the Good Samaritan did, but I could offer up a bottle of water or a meal. I may not have a lot of free time on my hands these days but I could spare a few moments to listen to someone who’s having a hard time, and offer up a hug.
I think of SO many people who were moved with compassion for me. I think of all of the people who took the time to let me know they were praying for me when we lost our baby, and again when I had my accident this winter. I think of the people who took the time to come up to the hospital just to be present with us, and let us know they cared. They not only knew what we were going through, they were MOVED with compassion to be with us. I think of the people who cared for our children while my husband and I were at the hospital for a week.
I think of my sister brushing my teeth while I was in and out of sleep because the shoulder of my dominant arm was broken. I think of her washing day old, tear streaked make up off of my face while I laid there and could hardly breathe. I think of the friend who helped my husband wash my hair for me because I wasn’t able to get out of the hospital bed to shower yet. I think of the complete strangers who brought snacks to the hospital and held hands and prayed over me.
I think of the friends who brought gifts to the hospital for my daughters and asked me to hold them first so they would smell like me when my kids were scared or missing me. I think of the many friends who brought slippers so I didn’t have to wear the “fancy” hospital socks.
I think of the friends who held my gown closed when I took my first walk around the hospital.
I think of the friend who brought cider and party hats so we could still have some fun ringing in the New Year from my hospital bed. I think of my aunts who came and painted my toes and waxed my eyebrows, just to help me feel a little bit better about myself after my accident. I think of the 8 weeks worth of people who prepared meals for us. I think of the many women who helped with house work and taking me to doctors appointments. I think of the people who came by the house just to say hi. I think of the complete strangers who mailed cards of prayer and encouragement. I think of the fundraisers and donations to help meet our monetary needs. People were MOVED with compassion for us, and I want to have a heart like that too.
Every single one of us have SOMETHING we can do for someone else. We may not be able to meet every need, but we can try with what we have to offer. Maybe all we have to offer is a hug, sometimes that’s exactly what someone needs.
Recently our family was having a barbecue with other families in our neighborhood when I noticed my husband fix up a heaping plate of food. Once he had the plate as full as he could get it he start walking down the street rather than sitting down where the rest of us were gathered. I instantly thought where in the world is he going with all of that food?! Eventually I got curious enough and called out to him and said “Where are you going?” He said “I’m going to take a man some food. He looks hungry.” He had ran an errand a little while earlier and noticed what appeared to be a homeless man sitting on a busy street nearby our house. We’ve seen the man before. His appearance is dirty, he talks to himself, and he is someone most of society would walk on the other side of the road to avoid… but not my husband. He was moved with compassion, he was called to go and do likewise, so he did. My husband didn’t take the man a plate of food to be noticed as a hero or to be praised for doing something kind. He didn’t even make a peep about where he was going. He saw someone who had a need he could meet, so he did.
I pray that as you go through this week you will be purposeful about what the bible commands of us. If you see someone with a need you can meet even if its slightly inconvenient (or very inconvenient) you do so. Maybe you know of someone who has been ill or has recently had surgery and you can bring them a meal, do so. Maybe you know someone who could use a little help with yard work and you could help water their flowers, do so. Maybe you know someone who’s having a rough time and could just use a hug, hug them. You never know who will see the love of God, because you were moved with compassion for them. I pray you will look for opportunities to love people like Jesus, and I pray that I will go, and do likewise.
In His Love,
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