When you need a friend
The Good Samaritan (Luke 10) may be the best known bible story of all times. This weekend as we hear it again I want to invite you to consider who has come to your aid when you needed a friend?
What has it been like to receive the help you needed when you have no way to repay the favor?
The one who sees the one in need is moved with “pity” or compassion. This word is used for when you feel it in your gut. The Samaritan is the one who is willing to go toward the one who is in need and in the parable Jesus tells the lawyer to “go and do likewise”. To see others in need and respond is not easy as we hear of the two others who cross to the other side to avoid the pain and suffering of one left half dead.
Could it be that when we have experienced our own times of being in need and having someone see us, care fo us, give to us with no earning or deserving on our part simply because they have great compassion that it gets it on our radar to go and do likewise?
Neighbors, friends, responding to the deep needs of the world have all been on my heart and mind this week. We has a “surprise/mystery mission trip” with our Middle school students yesterday and got to have some hands on learning about how folks in Denver are responding to those who are in need of clothing and shelter, friendship and compassion. We got to eat lunch at the SAME (So All May Eat) cafe. We engaged in connection and conversation regarding those who are without adequate funds for school clothes, shelter, and basic needs.
Today we have a service learning experience with high school students. As we heard last week “the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few” and it is important to keep asking how God is calling each of us to love, serve and grown. We also need to be acknowledge our own challenges and weaknesses and when we are in the ditch.
This week I would encourage you to consider how you have received. It may be uncomfortable, you may not be able to recall a time, it may not even be on your radar of being the one in need. Be not afraid to take the time and consider the ways you receive freely without earning it, deserving it, able to repay it. This is grace. Grace comes to all of us. Gifts freely given with no expectation of repayment. Gifts from the hands and hearts of others as the hands and heart of God at work in the world.
Has there been someone who has been your neighbor, your friend, in a time when you were beaten down and left for half dead and alone? As you remember this person then you are ready to “go and do likewise”, We get to share whet we have so generously received.