Monday, March 1, 2010

Love Like That Good Samaritan

By Cherry Simpson

My grandchildren know the answer to this question, “What is love?” They will all answer in unison, “It’s an action.” Nana Cherry has taught them true love isn’t cheap, by nature, it’s sacrificial. Its not just saying you love someone, it’s showing him or her by sacrificing for them. You put them before yourself and you do all you can to help them be the best they can be.

In our dining room hangs an antique print by Hogarth called “The Good Samaritan.” My husband and I purchased this on our first trip to London and it has often been a subject we’ve discussed with our grandchildren. They know this story as do all of us, but how often have you really met one? How often have you really been one? To love like that Good Samaritan isn’t easy, it means going outside of our comfort zone. It means not judging, it means being able to see beyond the divisions of this world to love whoever is in need and giving them what is for their good. It means letting God overrule our fears with his love and promise.

“Do this and you will live.” Luke 10:18

In the story a victim of crime lays naked, wounded and half-dead in a ditch along side a road. Two men walked by him. Two men who were suppose to be upright and good. What do you suppose went through their minds? They might have thought the victim must have done something to deserve being there. The robbers might still be near by; their lives could be in jeopardy. Helping would mean risking much.

Why didn’t the Samaritan didn’t think twice about helping the victim. He was an outcast, he knew what it was like to be discriminated and persecuted, just because of his race. He became the example of true love. What made him sympathetic to the victim’s plight?

Could you do this? Have you...risked much, to help someone who lives outside your comfort zone? Could you help a victim of domestic violence? It’s easy to argue it’s not a good idea to get involved. She’ll just go back again. People will think you’re crossing a line with your good intentions. You could be called a troublemaker. You’ve never known a criminal before. It could be dangerous.

Many times we read and hear about women and children who were sexually abused and some killed. How did this happen? Why didn’t CPS do something? Why didn’t the OP stop the abuser? Why didn’t more people report the abuse or try to help? How many family members even think of domestic violence or sexual assault as a slur on their name? Many think victims of domestic violence choose to be abused. We all shutter when we hear of a child abuse. How many of us would call or try to help? Some say, “It doesn’t do any good anyway. CPS never does what they’re supposed to do. Its their fault not mine!”

“Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:37

Some people are self-righteous and comfortable about how they treat others, especially family and friends. “There’s a little bit of Pharisee in all of us.” That’s why Jesus set the demand of God’s law before the Jewish expert, “Do it and you will live.” And that is why; we’re to love like that Good Samaritan.

It’s easier to do nothing and then pride ourselves in safe acts of charity, patting ourselves on our backs and assuring ourselves that God is happy with us, when the truth is that most of our acts of charity cost us very little. Unfortunately in this world a real act of self-sacrifice and active concern is as scarce as precious gems.

There once was a psychology study done by a Professor, he decided to put the Good Samaritan story to the test. In different locations he put a person in a simulated “trouble” situation - lying in a doorway, in a gutter, and slumped over a table. He observed the reactions of passersby for an hour. Of the 236 persons almost 100 did nothing but pass by, ignoring what they saw. Only ten offered help. None were as considerate as the Good Samaritan.

What would you have done? If someone came to you with bruises and black eyes. Would you help her? Or would you find reasons not to get involved? The Good Samaritan over came his fear with compassion. God tells us to go and do likewise. True love is costly, it’s self sacrificing, giving of oneself to all people. In some cases the loving thing might be to call 911 or child protective services. Or offer shelter and encouragement to a victim of abuse. We should truly give help when it is needed and don’t look for excuses to satisfy our own selfish desires not to.

What victim rhetoric does Jesus use in his parable to show us which of these three men acted accordingly? We are to love like that Good Samaritan and offer help whatever the cost might be. Why should we do that? Because we are blessed, with eyes to see and given a heart moved to help those who maybe in trouble. We’re motivated gladly to love, like that Good Samaritan because of God’s love for us.

How much happier our world would be if there were more Good Samaritans. We can’t change the world, but we can work to change ourselves. And concentrate our efforts on helping others in our own lives. Dear God, let us love like that Good Samaritan, and go and do likewise. Amen.

I was moved to write this post because of the act of self-sacrifice by William L. Jackson, of Denton, TX who generously gave $500 to Help Solve Lacey Gaines’ Murder. Even though he never knew my niece Lacey, somehow he felt connected. His act of love has given me hope. I thank God for him and those who can show love like that Good Samaritan!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Cherry, thank you for posting such an uplifting article. It was painful to read until the final paragraph, since there's an element of the other two passersby in every one of us. As you say, how many times do we count the cost until it gets too great to risk? You move a hurting person and you may be sued. You reach out to a hurting person and you may get hurt as well -- by those who hurt him, or by the victim himself. But also, as you say, aren't we commanded to reach out anyway?

    When you talked about the safety of most acts of charity, I'm dismayed that we will often throw a dollar bill or a loaf of bread over the wall to someone we don't want to shake hands with. Sometimes this is the better course. For example, Mr. Jackson might have either sent a check or delivered it to your family, and with equally good intentions. By sending a check he may have respected your privacy and grief, believing you needed the time to regroup and heal. On the other hand, if he gave it personally, you would have been able to put a face on his gift. And the personal encounter may have been part of two gifts: the one he gave and the one he would have received by meeting you.

  3. Dear Charles,

    I should let you know Larry Jackson is an old dear friend. I had no idea he was thinking of giving a gift. But I was also not surprised by it. That is who Larry Jackson is....a Good Samaritan. Yes me knowing him has been one of God's gifts to me. I thank God for him and pray God moves more hearts to sacrifice for others.
    May God Bless you really good!

  4. Cherry,
    Thank you for such a poingnant article. I can certainly feel that connection with you and Lacey though I never knew her. With every sentence and every paragraph - you made me think and wonder ... what Would I do? I do know what I have done at times ... I also have experienced first hand "the people walking by"... Thank you for the gift and the blessing of being the wonderful woman that you are. I am so grateful to have crossed paths with you! I thank God for you and pray for Lacey. God bless you always...

  5. Great blog, Cherry. WWJD? That is alwasy the question and the true test of character for anyone. Dr Judith Herman in her great book Trauma and Recovery (about violence against women)talks about how when one learns of another's victimization, there are just two choices. 1. Side with the victim- believe and support them (this takes time, energy, inconvenience, etc.) or 2. Do nothing - side with the perpetrator. That we will do nothing is exactly what the perpetrator hopes.

  6. Julie,
    Ouch, that hurts! But it's a truth that MUST be told. To do nothing is not to take a neutral position, but it is to take the perpetrator's side. Thank you for driving home the point yet again.


Thank you for your comment. It will be added shortly.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


The opinions and information expressed in the individual posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of each contributor of "Time's Up!" nor the opinion of the blog owner and administrator. The comments are the opinion and property of the individuals who leave them on the posts and do not express the opinion of the authors, contributors or the blog owner and administrator.