The media sends us stories about shootings of innocent people … not in war zones, but in our own schools and markets here in the United States. We have people in our family who are hurting from death, illness, and other maladies. We have neighbors who are lonely. We have children in our towns who are hungry.
And all this is in our first world country, one of the richest in the world.
We have to do something about all this hurt. And it isn’t the job of the government, the schools, and others … it is something each one of us needs to address.
In the Bible there is the story about the Good Samaritan. It is really a story about loving outside our comfort zone. It is also a story that tells us that the person who is great, the hero, in the story is not the one that would be considered great in society at that time. Greatness is not defined by the popular crowd or by a person’s social standing.
The religious leader and priest are not the hero of the story … and they had a chance to be. Instead, greatness is defined by the one who acts out of love. It is the Samaritan – the outcast in the community – who is the hero.
The first question, in the story, that the priest and Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?”
The Samaritan (person from Samaria) came by and asked himself, “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
That is the question before each of us every day. If we don’t stop to help our neighbor, what will happen to them?
What does this old story mean to us today, whether we are Christian or not? It means we can not settle for a world where anything less than love and compassion is the standard. We must keep reminding ourselves, our family, and our leaders to see those who are lying on the side of the road, in need. We have to keep calling for justice, demanding change until it comes. We should not be content with being silent.
Every day we have opportunities to be a good Samaritan. There are people hurting around us – some bleeding from the body like the man in the story, some bleeding from the soul. We can extend Grace to a hurting world every chance we are given.
We do not have to be professionals or persons educated in any special way, we need only to be good, caring neighbors.
This week in my office I have had discussions with six children from age 13 down who are learning about community service … how to volunteer and serve our community to make it a better place to be. This is good. I thank those parents for working to teach their children to think about others and not just themselves.
Let’s do this together. Let’s be better humans.
Hope to see you at the Voices on the Santa Fe Trail at the Guymon Community Theatre on June 11 at 7 pm or June 12 at 2 pm. It is a great time to learn about the history of our region and to support Main Street Guymon volunteers. Tickets are $10 and there are still tickets available.