REFLECTING

One of my first posts - 
I thought I could do a repeat at this point.

We studied the parable of the Good Samaritan. Thinking on these things after the study, I realized that I have ‘played’ all the parts of this drama at one time or another. Much to my shame and regret, I’ve been one of the ‘robbers’ who ‘beat’ someone up, not caring what happened. I hurt them with unkind words, far more devastating and emotionally scarring, than physical blows. I took what I wanted and left. Nobody cared about how they beat me up, so why should I care?

I confess that I’ve also been the priest, fearing that getting involved would cause unpleasant consequences. Besides, helping this person was beneath my dignity and threatened my security. I couldn’t risk emotional involvement you understand. I just had to be ‘me’. What would my family and other people say? Clingy, needy people are such an inconvenience and simply take too much of my valuable time.

It’s not something I’m proud of, but I’ve been the Levite, showing up but wondering self-righteously and smugly, much like Job’s friends in the Old Testament, how someone could get himself into such a mess. No doubt he deserved the treatment he got! You reap what you sow, you know. Seems like he just creates one crisis and chaos after another! When is he ever going to learn? I had given him my valuable advice, but would he listen? No! This could have been avoided had he lived by the rules!

I’ve been the innkeeper, helping some wounded soul. I was paid for my work and accepted it because I needed the money. I could have done it for free, but the Samaritan paid me up front, so why argue. I prided myself on doing the right thing and my civic duty!

I’ve been the victim, who was callously treated, severely wounded, and heartlessly cast aside to bleed to death emotionally. Was I stupid for walking down that road in the first place? I’d walked there many times before and had never been accosted like this time. I had not expected that kind of treatment from fellow travelers. I guess I deserved what I got for allowing myself to be vulnerable and my expectations too high. Was there really no one who cared?

I’ve been the Samaritan. I was very humbled and felt unworthy that I was chosen as a channel of God’s love. I went out on a limb, at great risk to myself, having strength not of my own, to nurse and nurture, comfort and encourage victims of others abuse. With empathy, mercy, grace, understanding and compassion I helped where help was needed as best as I knew how. I sensed a power greater than mine working in and through me. I knew this was God’s purpose for my life.

The victim became well through divine healing power. What affect did that incident have on his future life? Did he cower in fear, always looking over his shoulder? Did he retaliate with a vengeance? Did he ever travel that road again or did he fear vulnerability? Did he grow through the experience and go on, freely expressing his gratitude at having been given another opportunity at life?

Were the robbers caught, convicted, and sentenced? Did they blame their dysfunctional upbringing for their behavior? Or did they feel truly sorry for the pain they inflicted and make a lifetime decision to never commit such evil acts again? If they were jailed, did someone minister to them while they were in there? Did they make restitution to the victim? Did they ever listen to the victim’s impact statement?

Did the Levite and priest ever realize that their callous and cruel attitude revealed their own inner emptiness and shallow faith? Did they realize that self-righteousness, bondage to fear, self-preservation and pride, amplified another’s sin in their eyes but kept them blinded to their own sinfulness? Or did they ever pray, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner?”

Did the innkeeper see the dollar signs and start a for-profit medical center to keep up with the growing demand to care for those who were victims of violence? Or did he open up a hospice, where those in dire need could receive help free of charge until they were well again?

Did the noble, neighborly example of one of those hated Samaritans leave a positive, lasting impression on anyone’s life? Had he perhaps once been a robber, a victim, a Levite, a priest or an innkeeper and learned from the experience first hand so that he could minister the way he did?

God’s Word is the mirror with which we can examine our own life. May God help us to make the decision to be a Good Samaritan, doing our part and leaving the rest up to Him.

As you read this, what are your reflections?

11 comments:

Lady Dorothy said...

Great food for thought! I had identified with a couple of the characters in the past, but have never thought of having played ALL of them! Good word.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Wow,Karin,a whole sermon in one blog post. I know that as I read this I saw this story and myself in a completely different light. I say with shame that I have been any one of these men far too often.It is so easy to lay blame and so hard to show love.
God help me to show love and not criticism.
Ruth

Ginny said...

My word, I'm practically speechless...your insight, and how you see yourself in all these roles in your life. I'm going back to read it again, I think it will be of great benefit to anyone who reads it.

George said...

I'm glad you decided to post this again. It's a marvelous post with much food for thought and reflection.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Love this one, Karin. Glad you repeated it... What a great study ---looking at all of the characters using yourself and your life... I need to do that myself.

Thanks for a wonderful post.
Hugs,
Betsy

Maple Lane said...

A powerful and thought-provoking post, Karin. Blessings to you both this Tuesday.

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

Dear Karin indeed a beautiful sermon. I was so sick Sunday with what I thought was food poison I did not get to attend church. I too have seen myself in most of these roles. Mainly in the fear that I would put myself or my family in danger by helping someone that needed help. There are more than one way to help someone and I must always remember that. I so enjoyed your previous post about meeting your blog friend. I would love to have that happen. Blessings to all of you.
QMM

Gram said...

Great incites, Karin. Pastor Dad and I were talking just this morning about what motivates a person (specifically, us) when planning or praying. Sometimes peeling back the layers of the onion moves us to tears. It hurts to know what we're really like on the inside.

Glenda said...

Being "religious" does not make us a Good Samaritan at all, does it? This was so worth repeating, and I so admire your insight and your honest heart!

Shug said...

Glad I stopped by...a great message!
Love visiting here!!
shug

Karen said...

Reminds me of a song our choir learned long ago, "Love is something you are".