I sent this out earlier this week to a group of people my friends and I send scripture to, and Sheldon asked me to post it here :
29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
I met a man Saturday afternoon and the story below gives a live example to the question Jesus was asked in the book of Luke.
It was raining pretty hard, and I was driving home from the store with my 2 youngest girls, 6 and 3. As I’m driving I notice a man on walking on the side of the road clutching his stomach and as I pass him I see that he can’t go any longer – he laid down on the side of a main street and just gave up. Car after car passed him and no one stopped. I turned around and was telling my daughters that a man needs some help and went to his aid. I believe what happened next changed my life as well as his, an my hope is that this will change us from just passing people like him and continuing with our day.
His name is Larry and he just turned 32. He missed his bus stop and was about 2-3 miles from his house. You see, Larry was 3 months sober when on his birthday last Friday, but he told me his girlfriend didn’t do anything for him, didn’t even make a cake. His parents don’t associate themselves with him, he has no friends or other family, he just has his girlfriend and he felt abandoned by her too. So he went to the only thing he knows gives him comfort, which was drugs and alcohol. He told me that no one cares about him and no one will ever care for him – he’s all alone. I offered to call the paramedics, but he asked me several times not to, so I didn’t, but hoped that help would come. I asked him if he knows Jesus and he said he did – that he tries to ask for help but his problems never go away. he started to cry and told me about how sad and lonely he is, and that he was so sorry for messing up, so so sorry, and that he was so stupid and weak. I introduced him to God’s grace, telling him that sobriety starts over again, that he is loved, he is worth it and that even though he thinks he’s alone, a random stranger(me) saw him in need and cared enough to stop. Then I asked if I could pray for him.
I took this man, soaked and dirty from the ground he was laying on and embraced him and prayed over him, for the Lord to break down barriers, for him to feel the comfort of our Father’s love when he feels lonely and afraid, and for his heart to start healing. As I finished praying I looked to my left and a cop had just stopped by asking if he could help and drive Larry home. The police officer got him in the backseat safe and ready to go and walked back to me saying, “I knew the moment that I saw you that you had God in your heart… thank you so much for caring for him.
After 30 minutes I got back into the car with my 2 girls wondering why I stopped and what happened. I got to tell them that when people are in need, God puts them in our path to help them, to raise them back on their feet and get them going again with the Love of the Lord in their hearts for strength.
Friends – Larry is my neighbor. I didn’t know him until this last weekend on the side of the road, but I am so thankful to have met him. I hope to meet him again and to see how he is doing, and no matter what state of living he’s in, I promise to love him where he’s at. As I walk on this path the Lord has set for me, I anticipate lots of folks like him to be set in front of me. I look forward to sharing time with each of them, and encourage you to do the same with the neighbors around you.
Bless you today!