Putting A Parable Moment

“But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion…” (Luke 10:33)

God has a way of “putting a moment” in your path. There are numerous people who read the Scriptures and live their lives, and never the two shall meet. Scripture never becomes real or relevant to them. It’s just stuff. Harry Potter is more true-to-life for some folk than the biblical Jonah or David with a slingshot.

But, at a moment’s notice, God puts a moment in a person’s path that connects with what had just been read in the Word with what is happening right now the block. It’s an opportunity to “live the Word.”Such it is for me.

Here it is.

I’m getting ready for middle school church camp that begins in a few days. One of the daily themes revolves around the parable of the Good Samaritan, a story rich in cultural details, intriguing characters. and confusing decisions.

As I’ve been reading and re-reading the story, trying to see it from this angle and that angle, God put me in “a moment” to let me live out the parable.

Now, please don’t think I’m trying to equate myself with the compassionate Samaritan, but I do believe God orchestrated the moment to allow me to live out how the Samaritan responded to the robbed and beaten man he encountered on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho.

If you’re not familiar with the biblical story that appears in Luke 10, it tells us of two different people to see the man in need of medical attention and compassion, but keep on going. Their religious occupations adds another dimension to the story, but i’d scoot by that.

The third person to come by is a Samaritan, the least likely person to stop, and probably the one least obligated to help. But he is the one who stops and goes the extra mile in helping the helpless.

Yesterday morning I was leaving our neighborhood, heading to Starbucks for my morning dose of Pike Place (Cream and raw sugar, please!). As I turned left onto the next street up from ours, I noticed our neighbor, an 83-year-old retired Navy Chief Warrant Officer, kneeled down on one knee on the sidewalk. I rolled down my window and asked him if he was okay.

“I can’t get up. If I try to get up, I’ll fall over.”

I pulled over and went to help him up. It only took a moment, a “God putting a moment in my path”. I helped him back inside his house and we talked for a moment.

“I saw this painted rock on the side here and I wanted to see what it was. So I kneeled down, but, since I forgot my cane, I couldn’t get back up. Here’s the rock.”

He showed me a small, painted stone to me and turned it over for me to see the bottom. On the bottom was written the words “Kindness is Love!” And then he looked at me and said “You’re my kindness.”

I helped him back inside and checked on him later on in the day and he was doing okay. He had been kneeled down on the sidewalk for about five minutes before I stopped. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus doesn’t indicate that the Samaritan had nay knowledge that others had passed by and not stopped to help. The point: God will put a moment in our path that requires a personal act of kindness, a decision to be an agent of compassion.

I thank God for those “moments”, and I’m humbled to think that my neighbor believes I’m that “rock”, that kindness that still lies to the side of his front sidewalk.

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