One Sunday, while on my way to teach at a bible fellowship. I remembered that I needed something from the grocery store. Since I was about to drive by one, I decided that I would just run in, get the item, run out and be on my way.
It was a sunny morning and I was dressed in my Sunday's best. Although I was hurrying, it was not fast enough to generate any sweat. But God had other plans and He gave me a nudge to pay attention to what was going on in the parking lot. I noticed an older lady struggling to get her spare tire out of the trunk of her car. I was in kind of a hurry and surely there would be someone coming out of the store that could help her. As I was about to pass by, the nudge turned into a tug and I did not lose a step to get to her aid. After I had changed the flat and put the flat tire in the car and closed the trunk, she said, "Thank you, young man," and gave me a dollar. I had finished my job and we both were blessed.
That was one time that I did not walk away. But the temptation to not heed the "nudge" always has its reasons -- time, money, looks, too tired -- and the number goes on.
Luke 10 provides an example of what it means to "love your neighbor as yourself" as a certain man is traveling on a dangerous road between Jerusalem and Jericho. On his way he falls among thieves who strip him of his clothes, wound him by inflicting his body with blows, and leave him half dead.
By chance, a priest of the Jew's religion came down that way, but when he saw the wounded and naked man he passed by on the other side of the road. In the same manner as the priest, a servant of the Jew's religion came by and after looking at the half dead man, went across the road and passed by.
Then, a certain Samaritan as he journeyed came upon the naked, wounded, and half dead man. The Samaritan bandaged the wounds, put him on his donkey and took him to an inn to care for him. He also paid for his care and stay at the inn until he would return from his journey. At the time of his return he promised to pay the innkeeper whatever additional was owed for the man's stay and care.
The Samaritan was persistent in his love and compassion for the injured man. He kept his love in service until the work of restoration and healing was complete.
I think it is interesting to note that the meaning of the words "to take care" indicate that the care provided by that certain Samaritan expressed forethought and the employment of means for a desired result. In my understanding, that is being prepared to love and willing to give the service necessary depending on the situation.
So, when the nudge comes -- the man on the bench in the lobby of Wal-Mart, the lady in the line at the Post Office, the attendant at Shop and Go, or a passer-by on the street -- answer the call of God to be persistent with your love.
With love and blessings,
Ray and Shirley