A few days ago I went to see the dark knight rises for the second time. I had a free movie ticket and we were killing time so we decided to go see it again. This time I knew where things were going and who was who and all the surprises were behind me, so I looked intently into the detail of the scenes. I noticed so much more this time around such as the seemingly obvious things that I somehow missed the first time around. This week I was in Luke 10 and I re-read the “good Samaritan” parable and this time around I paid closer attention to details. This time I focused on the people who passed by him.
Luke 10:30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
I realized that we pass by people almost every single day in some capacity. The people who hurt us the most, we declare some type of revenge even if it’s as simple as the silent treatment or maybe even a no text back policy. There are also those people who rub you the wrong way. They say the obvious things or the wrong things at the wrong times, and they often point out your flaws publicly. So in return we shun them in public, make them feel dumb by not laughing at their jokes, nor do we invite them into our inner circles. We truly miss the picture of the “good Samaritan” when we fail to see the people who CHOSE to pass by and even cross the street to avoid the situation. A priest was the first mentioned and as Christ followers we have a picture in our heads of the only way of serving is to somehow go to that sweet little kid living in a third world country whose hungry for both food and affection. This is beyond true and I am so thankful for the missionaries who pour out every day of their lives as full time missionaries. But If I am going to be real with myself I also know that there are people who I have in my life that I want nothing to do with, I don’t want to be their friend and yet I know they are desperate for friendship. How can I say that I am the “good Samaritan” when I pass by daily? Think about when we order food and the waitress fails to smile and we are so quick to complain. What if she was beaten before she got there and she has no smile left to give? If I knew that would I still pass by? What about that co-worker or family member that literally drives you bonkers. What if she or he feels so rejected by others and even contemplates suicide because the depression seems too much and they need someone to invest in them. Knowing this would I still pass by? No matter how much I focus on the men who passed by my heart takes me back to the man who got messy for the sake of saving that poor man who was beaten and yet he CHOSE to touch him both physically and emotionally. Jesus did the very same thing for me. When I was at my lowest place feeling dirty and so out of His reach, Jesus saw me and without blinking got in the midst of all the dirt, the pain and the gross areas of my heart and began to pour His love and grace over me and because of that I began to heal. I want to see past the friendships, past the family members and those around me that I choose to see and really SEE people just like Jesus. I want to see messes as a way to give hope. I want to hear crazy stories in order to connect with someone and show them the Creator who is madly in love with them. I want to experience a level of serving like never before. I must keep my eyes open for the people right in front of me and allow God to show me what it truly means to be just like Him.
Who needs you right now?