God has a wonderfully comic sense of timing!
This has been the week of my denomination’s World Conference–a busy week during which we conduct the business of the church…we share in worship…we talk (a lot!)…we renew old acquaintances and make new ones.
Thursday night there were two powerful sermons by Apostle Mareva Arnaud Tchong and Apostle Robin Linkhart. Both dealt with the parable of the good Samaritan, and both challenged us in different ways. Mareva asked how we saw ourselves in the story–as the priest…the Levite…the Samaritan…the wounded traveler? Who–in this wounded and broken world–are we?
Robin shared a very personal experience of a time she found herself in the position of possibly being the Samaritan who could help…and she left. She had valid reasons for not helping, but the experience has stayed with her. Her question for us was “Are you willing to come near?”
Friday night was one of the favorite services of the Conference–the international hymn sing. It was exhilarating! After it was over, we shared in visiting (again!) with good friends…and then headed for home. It was still early enough in the evening that we were thrilled about the possibility of getting a really good night’s sleep.
As we pulled out of the parking lot we saw a woman slumped on the curb. It was so tempting to keep going, but we paused and rolled down a window to ask her if she was okay. She wasn’t. She had become severely sunburned during the day and needed to get to a hospital…and not just any hospital, but one downtown…30 minutes away!
Were we willing to come near?
We looked at each other, opened the car door, helped her in, and headed downtown to the emergency room at the hospital, where she said she would be all right and her son would come and get her.
So much for an early night to bed!
But it was a good reminder. If we are indeed followers of this Jesus, that’s not for just when it’s convenient. It’s for whenever we see a need.
Are we willing to come near? Are we willing to come close to the wounded, broken people who need to know that someone cares?