Scripture text for Thursday, March 25th, 2010: Luke 10:25-10:37
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Frequently, as we read the Bible, we are shocked, and disgusted at the behavior we encounter. At first, we think we cannot identify with such bumbling foolishness, or heartless cruelty. We are usually wrong.
As I read this passage, I tried to picture a man beaten, and bloodied lying on the side of the road left for dead. I tried to imagine someone deliberately crossing the road to avoid walking by him, pretending not to see him (sadly, it was pretty easy to do).
As I pictured the scene, I felt sick. It seems unbelievable to so easily disregard someone so desperate for help.
The knot in my stomach grew as I saw myself in this parable.
A few years ago, I taught at a school in Kokomo. This made for long commutes on SR 26 in the early morning. One morning in the winter, the roads were slick, and it was completely dark outside. As I rounded the corner, I saw an oncoming car. More accurately, I saw two headlights, I watched as they crossed into my lane in front of me. Then, in the silent pre-dawn, I watched as those headlights bounced in slow motion over the ditch, and turned circles over one another two or three times. There was no screeching tires, no breaking glass, it was completely silent.
There was no safe place to pull over there in the dark, icy stillness, and the road was so twisted as soon as I rounded the curve the car was no longer in view.
As I stopped, I surprised myself at the brief internal struggle that followed.
Did I really just see what I think I did? Did that really just happen? Really?
Should I go back?
Should I call 911? I’ve never called 911 before, what do I say?
If I go back I will be late for school?
Should I just keep driving? Seriously, did that really happen?
I did call 911 and by the time I safely turned around, there were several rescue vehicles already at the scene, but I am ashamed that I even debated at all.
We are too busy. We have all driven by someone stranded on the side of the road; because we didn’t have time to stop, because then we would be late. As we pass them by, we tell ourselves they were surely a serial killer, trying to soothe our searing conscience.
Jesus made time; He was always inconvenienced. He stopped what He was doing to meet the needs of others.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ (Matthew 25:41-45)
Are you feeding the hungry? Do you open your home to strangers? Are you caring for the sick?
Devotion prepared by Megan Mills