Luke 10:33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.
While I was out for my evening run tonight, I came upon a young boy, sitting on the curb with his scooter. His eyes were red, his face tear streaked – he couldn’t have been more than 10-years old. I was about to pass him, but our eyes met and my heart broke. I stopped. “Are you okay?” I asked. “Yes, I’m okay.” He said in a shaky voice. I started to run on but couldn’t. I turned around to ask again, “Are you sure you’re okay. Do you want me to walk you home? Are you hurt?” He smiled a little. “No thank you. I’m okay. I live across the street right there.” He pointed to a large apartment complex across the busy street. “Well, if you’re sure you’re okay…” He smiled more fully, “Yes, ma’am. I’m sure. Thank you though.” Reluctantly, I passed on by leaving the little boy to sit alone on the curb.
Everything inside me wanted to do more, say more, sit by him and talk to him to cheer him up. Maybe there was something wrong. Maybe he needed help. But I was too afraid of crossing boundaries. Would I scare him or would too much attention towards a young boy bring false accusations doing more harm than good? While my heart was moved to compassion, my actions were halted by caution. I went on my way wondering if I missed an opportunity to offer tangible assistance.
As I sought to understand, I remembered Jesus’ teaching about the Good Samaritan. All the other religious persons who passed the naked and beaten man on the side of the road chose to ignore his need for help. (Luk 10:31-32) There is no indication even one thought to stop, but instead purposely went out of their way to avoid him. But a Samaritan; a man from a despised nation, had compassion and helped the gravely wounded man. Praise God for his word! It helped me put my dilemma into perspective. While I did not offer the young boy the physical help I thought I should have, I also did not ignore him. I stopped. I did not avoid the boy, but offered my assistance; even double checking his resistance. Most of all, I did not hesitate to pray for him asking God to intervene – for HE is able and HE knows no boundaries. I trust it was God’s hand upon the situation, guarding both of us from the wiles of the enemy to use the moment to discredit His good name. The next time I have an opportunity to minister to the needs of a stranger, I will again stop and not ignore, I will purpose in my heart to seek the Lord for wisdom and if the Lord allows I will pour out love and compassion upon my neighbor as He commands.
James 3:17–18 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.