As my life continually attempts to achieve Job status, I find myself reflecting on stories and scriptures in the Bible that appear to hold some sort of parallel into my universe. Like, Job and I would be homies now. I know Paul suffered, but he was too triumphant for me. I would be in the corner crying about losing my job, Paul would probably be like, “Tosin, I have just come from my third shipwreck”. To which I would respond with “Maybe you should take a horse.” Nope, Job and I would be buddies. He complained and whined, but never did he doubt God’s goodness. That’s where I am. I love the Lord. I’m not as whiny as Job; I also have better friends. However there are days where my faith takes a beating. Even when the pulse of it is faint, I continue believing. There are also days when my faith is running marathons. Well, today is not a day where I feel like Job. Today is a day when my life reminds me of the Good Samaritan.
So, I called it an early night yesterday and spent my evening making the best ramen of my life and reading. I woke up early for work. Cooked my lunch and was leaving 20 minutes early for work. As I approached my vehicle I noticed a suitcase outside of my car. It was my car and I distinctly remember leaving it inside of my vehicle. I knew I locked my door. So, as I began pacing, dread was wielding itself into my heart. There I saw it. Broken glass where my rear passenger window used to be. I realized that evil had flooded a human heart so much to break into my car and steal. I have nothing of value. My clothes are not of fine linen. My favorite shirt is from Walmart; my shoes from Payless, and the suitcase itself was free. They took very little. Oddly, just some underwear (which is honestly jacked up). I had ten minutes to get to work. I rushed and it wasn’t until 7 hours later, I was at Kroger patching up my window with trash bags and duct tape.
As, I stood in the parking lot in the middle of the day hot and disheveled. I began the humbling experience of “repairing” my window. Shattered bits of window surrounded my feet and I became a pathetic spectacle to onlookers who were walking in simply to get spirits for the weekend. That is when I thought of the Good Samaritan.
Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him,“Go and do the same.”
I have heard this passage preached in churches multiple times. Often my focus has been on the Samaritan, but what about the traveling man. What happens when you are simply venturing from Jerusalem to Jericho and your life gets interrupted? See in that moment, I was the half dead man. To all those who passed by me, it was apparent something was wrong, but how easy is it to simply pass by the hurt and afflicted. It scares me that for an hour no one asked me what happened. Because the truth is, in life we will have opportunities to be the Samaritan, but it is a given that we will be afflicted and we will be in a position where we need a Samaritan to stop and come to our aid.
Another thing that frightened me about this episode was my assumptions. It is foolish to assume people around you are Christian. However, when you are repairing a windshield a block away from the largest megachurch in Houston in an affluent area of town and no one helps you that is scary, but perhaps that is part of the point of the story. The priest had an opportunity to help, but did nothing. The Levite had the opportunity to help, but did nothing. Perhaps, they thought to stop would interrupt their journey. However, didn’t they notice this man’s journey had been interrupted? The lady with the Jesus fish on her car had the opportunity to help, but she didn’t. The man with the cross on his neck and the rosary around his wrist had the opportunity to help, but didn’t. It was an elderly woman who smelled of cigarette smoke and buying a pack of beer who showed me the love of Christ yesterday.
Are you alright ma’am?
No…not really. Someone broke into my car last night.
Oh my word, bless your heart. I saw you walking into Kroger. Is there anything I can do to help?
Oh no, I have just been having a rough 2 months.
Well, just go home and spend time with your family.
I wish, my family is in Georgia. I lost my job. I lost my place to live. I miss my kids. (I start crying) I just want my mom.
(Hugging me)Oh, darlin’ it’s okay don’t cry.
Lord, wherever she is, bless this woman. I may not have been beaten by bandits, but I was hurting and she was my good Samaritan.