Yesterday, as I headed out (on foot you know) to job hunt, I was about a block from my house when a neighbor lady was in her front yard trying to put a medium-sized garbage bag full of garbage inside a larger trash bag. As she lifted the smaller bag, it split wide open, dumping all of the contents on the ground at her feet.
That has happened to me before, so I was sympathetic. But not enough to help her. My first reaction was literally cross the street to the other side, so she would not even think of my assistance. I was dressed up and clean. You know, ready to try to make a good impression to prospective employers. I knew that if I helped her, I would likely have to go back home and wash the garbage and smell off.
Suddenly, God reminded me of the story of the Good samaritan. If you don’t know it, here’s the condensed version:
A man was robbed and beat up and left on the side of the road to die. Two religious men, seeing him a mess, immediately crossed to the other side of the street, fearing thay might accidentally come in physical contact with the injured man. He was bloody, dirty, and they could get “soiled“. Finally, a Samaritan businessman came along. He helped the man on the spot without hesitation. He then took the man to a local Inn, and stayed to care for the man as long as he could. Before he left, the Samaritan man gave money to the innkeeper and instructions to care for the injured man, and if it should cost more than what he’d given him, the Samaritan businessman would pay the difference when he came back through town after his business trip.
Wow! I didn’t know there would be a pop quiz! Immediately, I crossed back over and offered her help. She said “no thanks, I’m okay. But thank you!”
So, I repented, turned around and did the right thing. But I wish that would have been my FIRST reaction. Sometimes I’m still a Pharisee!