Friday, January 15, 2010

Nations and Neighbors

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. Luke 10:34

I was reading Beth Moore's notes on Luke 10 last week. Beth took a 2nd look at these infamous travelers from Jerusalem to Jericho. First was a Priest. Next was a Levite. Last was a Samaritan. The thought was that the Priest and the Levite were, probably (though not recorded as so) traveling from Jerusalem and their worship in the temple there. They leave the worship of God to encounter a broken man…and ignore him. Their reasons are irrelevant as the result is irreversible: a man remains broken. The Priest and Levite’s worship was essential to know God; their response to human suffering was essential to make Him known. The rescue comes from a most unlikely source: the least liked is the most loving. Maybe righteousness is more about ripped robes than rehearsed rhetoric.

Here’s the other thing that stood out to me: the Samaritan was just walking the road. He wasn’t on a mission to help a group of suffering people; he wasn’t looking for a bloodied victim; but when he saw one he responded with everything he had. Response was not from religion; response was from his heart. He chose to respond before he arrived at the need.

We are sometimes called to go to where the need is – maybe taking in just a taste of everyday suffering through a mission or relief trip. God calls us to seek and to serve, and lives are forever impacted by obeying His call. At the same time, we are called to respond to the broken lives that surround us everyday. Maybe a smile and hello is the oil and wine needed to bandage a wounded heart; wounds we don’t even know exist. Maybe it’s a little off the top (tithe) that God multiplies in ways that we can’t begin to imagine (respond in faith before the need is in sight). Maybe it’s a cup of coffee or a moment of listening to a hurting friend. Look around on the road.

"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." Isaiah 6:8 "Who will go for us?" It is not a question of God singling out a man and saying, "Now, you go." God did not lay a strong compulsion on Isaiah; Isaiah was in the presence of God and he overheard the call, and realized that there was nothing else for him but to say, in conscious freedom, "Here am I, send me." –Oswald Chambers

Here’s what got me: do I even ask what I can do? Do I even muster the courage to ask God “What do YOU want me to do; where do YOU want me to go?” Mostly, no. I respond when the need comes to my attention, but I usually don’t take the initiative to talk with God about my looking for broken people. My focus is distracted, as Martha was, instead of choosing the better, like Mary. Both worship and work are essential - worship first, then the work will follow. Just being in His love causes me to respond in love.

When I feel like "I'm not enough, He reminds me: "That's right, you are not enough, but I am." When I see Him as He is, then He’ll work through me as I am. Once I cast my eyes from my own hands to His holiness, then I see Him, I hear Him, and I'm passionate to serve Him. And so I ask, loving Him and loving others: “Who do you want me to be; what do you want me to do?” And He answers, perfectly.

Enjoy Him, Michelle


Anonymous said...

WOW! Beautiful! May we all be like the good Samaritan.

Anonymous said...

WOW… Amazing as usual. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie Griffith said...

You have such beautiful wisdom and insight Michelle. I think it's the transparancy with which you share your own heart that is so winsome! Well done! Matthew 25:21

Michael said...

You are an Ispiration, I love reading your blog it really touches my spirit........Keep writing....