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Being a good Samaritan
First appeared as a Web Original on July 2, 2020
I was on a subway when a man started verbally abusing a fellow passenger with racist slurs and aggressive threats. No one nearby made any effort to help. Suddenly I found myself moving to stand between the beleaguered teenager and the ranting man. This was incredible to me, because in the past I had determinedly avoided confrontations with a single-minded focus! And yet, here I was, feeling impelled to place myself right in a situation that seemed increasingly violent and dangerous. What was happening?
At that point I couldn’t know how this would play out, but I realized why I was doing what I was doing. I was literally being moved by compassion to express the selfless, Christly love identified in Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan, a love that protects and comforts those in need, even those we don’t know.
In the world today, there seems to be a great need for such love and compassion, and a greater affection for others. At a time when life is unfamiliar and hard, and societies seem stirred up, Christ Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan presents an incredible model for how we can navigate these scenes.
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