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By BARBARA BROWN
Wow, did you hang on every detail (like I did) when you watched the daring search and rescue efforts for the young soccer team in Thailand, trapped in darkness? I was repulsed by the dark tunnels and the doom and delay of their situation. But I knew the Lord could light their way. “Indeed, you are my lamp, Lord. The Lord illumines the darkness around me.” 2 Samuel 22:29. With hundreds of thousands of people praying across the world, I could muster hope for their safe recovery. Finally, I remember the relief I felt as I watched their deliverance unfold. All along, I was fascinated by the bravery and determination of their rescuers. They held nothing back, worked tirelessly and never gave up. I would call them really good Samaritans!
I thank the Lord for regular people who offer their time and energy to help others who cannot help themselves. Professionals actually attend regular training drills to increase their level of proficiency in search and rescue efforts. But others may not be so prepared, and may simply fall into an opportunity to lend a helping hand. Either way, by their efforts, they place an undeniable value on life. And in those moments, we are witnessing the heart of God toward humanity. He is the God of mercy and compassion who seeks and saves.
And when we have experienced his saving grace, we want to pass it on! Jesus teaches us how to do that in Luke Chapter 10. A man was traveling and discovered a victim who had been robbed and beaten until he was “half dead.” Jesus said, “When he saw him, he felt compassion for him. He went up to him and bandaged his wounds … then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”
Jesus plainly shows us how much we should extend ourselves to help others. So far in this story, it seems the Samaritan applied all his resources to help. But it wasn’t enough, we read on, “The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever else you spend, I will repay you when I come back this way.”
I believe the Samaritan in this story was a busy man. However, he seemed to be prepared to show mercy when it was needed. He was not a professional, nor did he carry a religious credential. He had a lot of things on his mind, but he also had a heart of compassion for a complete stranger. Yes, he was a busy man, but he wasn’t too busy. Jesus says, “Go and do the same.”
Barbara Brown serves on the ministry team at the Lighthouse Church of God.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.