“But a Samaritan on his journey came to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion.” Luke 10:33 CSB
Confession time, I found a list of 101 random acts of kindness I’m using as a cheat sheet for ideas. I found the list on pinterest, then I play little games with the list. Today, I decided whichever random act I landed on with my highlighter, I’d write a devotional on it. And this is what I landed on: Recycle things you see on the road. I immediately thought of the Good Samaritan, who we will call Sam. Here’s a long story short found in Mathew 10. Jesus used this parable to answer the question: who is my neighbor? There is a man beaten on the side of the road, the first person to pass him by is the Priest. In other words, the Lead Pastor of the church kept strolling when he saw a man bleeding and dying. Next came the Levite, who also keeps on walking. Levites are God’s chosen people, they’ve been manning the Temple from the beginning of time. He kept on walking too. But Sam doesn’t, Sam stops and helps him. He goes beyond helping him on the side of the road, he takes him to a hotel and pays the bill. The guy was amazing, but according to the Priests and Levites, the Samaritans were scum of the earth. God didn’t love them. Yet when Jesus wanted to illustratrate the point, “who is your neighbor?”, He used this story. Your neighbor is everyone.
There’s another point to this story. My Bible doesn’t say “who” the man was in the ditch. He very well may have been a Samaritan, maybe that is why Sam helped him, we’ll never know. But if the first two men who professed to love God so much, men whose lives were spent trying to follow His law, why didn’t they help? How can you spend all of your time studying God’s word and yet not show love to people? I know, since I started back to school, I’ve studied God’s word more than I ever have before in my life. His word has changed me. I’m not the same person I was 9 months ago. He has healed me. He has challenged me. He has grown me. And I feel like the journey has just begun. How could these men walk by a man on the side of the road and not help him? Because they didn’t know Jesus, that’s why. The Priest and the Levite’s hearts weren’t focused on God and others, their hearts were focused on themselves. They probably didn’t even notice the guy because they were caught up on their phones. I’ve done the same thing. I’ve not noticed people before, I’m ashamed to admit it, but I have. I’ve been too busy to notice someone standing right beside me. I’ve missed Divine Appointments, because I was too busy thinking about myself. I’m trying to change that, but the journey ahead is long and the road is not easy.
But today, I can recycle things on the road. Maybe I’ll recycle a tin can, or maybe I’ll help heal a broken heart. May you do the same! God only knows which way the day will go!