Thursday, March 20, 2014

And Who is My Neighbor?

Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

 While camping at my property in Rocksprings this past Spring Break, I stumbled upon a little bit of an unfortunate circumstance.  My truck battery died.  Completely.  Utterly.

This wouldn't have normally been a bad thing.  I mean, I've got one of those portable jumper things.  I just happened to have left it at home.  I could easily call for help, but there is VERY limited cell phone service and I knew virtually no one. 


Things have a way of working out.  Earlier in the day my truck battery died, I met a group of guys who own property out there as well.  They gave me their names and numbers.

Earlier that day, my wife had placed her purse on the trailer I had towed out there.  For some reason, at intervals, the spot where she placed her purse received cell phone service.  It wasn't constant, but it was there.

I placed my cell phone in exactly that spot and waited until I saw there was signal.  The signal maintained for just long enough for me to make a few phone calls.  People called people, and before I knew it, I had numerous offers of help.

At 9 p.m. that evening, one of the folks who lives out near my property came driving up the road in his Mule (the Kawasaki kind).  He had a generator and battery charger.

"I understand you need help," he said.

I'd never met the guy.  He'd driven by my place earlier and seen my kids and I out playing.  He was afraid they were in the tent asleep and that he'd wake them.  (They were in San Antonio with their grandparents in a much warmer situation than I was.)

His help was much appreciated.  He cranked up his generator, plugged in his battery charger, and was talked and waited for the battery to charge.  Of course, he eventually found out I was a pastor.

"I'm not much of a church goer.  I drink.  I smoke.  I cuss.  I've done a few things that aren't to be proud of.  Maybe I'm not too good of a person."

Me: Let me tell you what I think.  I'm really not trying to butter you up or anything, but it seems to me Jesus had a whole lot less to say about those kind of things, but He did have a lot to say about dropping everything and helping out a neighbor who was in need.  You've come out here in the middle of the night to help out a complete stranger, and in my book, that carries a lot more weight than those other things.

"Hmm.  I think you are right about that."

I know I am, but that's beside the point.  The point is I was this guy's neighbor, and he responded when I was in need.  No questions.  No asking for payment or anything from me.  He simply was doing the right thing.

Would I do the same?

I hope.

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