There is a powerful passage of scripture that deals with how we should treat others. The Bible refers to others as our “neighbor.” The passage is Luke 10:30-37, and it is the story of a man who asked Jesus “who is my neighbor”? Jesus, as usual, answers the man with a parable about three men that see a person in need and only one of them stops to help. Not only does the man stop, but also he goes the extra mile to really help the man.
This past Sunday, our lesson was on this passage; the lesson was about when to get involved and when not to. There are times when people need help and not just prayer. There are some cities where you go downtown and there are young, strong men who will prey on people to give them money. Not every situation is the same, but I believe God will lead when to get involved and when not to.
I am about to tell you something that is personal, and please know I do not tell you this so you will think more highly of me. I am going to tell you this story because it represents what I am talking about. You will know it when you see people in need that need you to help them right then. In those situations, they don’t need you to add their name on the church prayer list or form a committee to come back in a week…. What they need is food, help, and lodging, and they need it now.
Last Sunday, God knew what the lesson was about and what would happen this week.
Brad Sinclair and I were in Richmond this past Tuesday night for a meeting we had on Wednesday. Our flight got in at 11:30pm Tuesday night, and we needed to run by a pharmacy to get a couple of things. We pulled up to the light and there was a CVS in front and a Walgreens to the right. We choose Walgreens, and when we pulled up, there was a homeless family with a young mom, dad, young son, and baby. They needed help right then. They were thrown out of wherever they were living and had no one to help them. The little baby did not have shoes and they were eating some snacks that I guess they were able to take with them. The little boy was probably 4 or 5 years old and the baby was maybe 6 months old.
It was not time to say church things about praying for them and go in peace. No, it was action time, and we were there because God put us there. Long story short, without getting into too many details that are private, we gave them enough money to cover the immediate needs, and we paid for them to stay for a couple of days in a hotel.
Sometimes, like that night, the only gospel some people will hear is your actions and we had better make sure we act appropriately.
Now listen close to me– if you are a young woman and you see someone who needs help, you simply cannot and should not put yourself in danger. You must know your surroundings and know the risk. I told my daughters when they were young to not roll down a window and stick their young arms out; rather, tell me where they were and I will go as their daddy and help that person. Again, I am not telling this story to tell you what you should do, rather I am telling this story because sometimes real people are in real need and they simply need a touch of kindness.
Many times, people see these situations and they look away or act like they don’t see the person and pass by. You cannot be all things to all people all the time, but sometimes you can make an impact on others and that is what the passage of scripture is talking about. So, read the passage of scripture above, and you will understand what I am talking about. KT