Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Good Samaritan Day 74

Good morning ladies. Today we are in the book of Luke. When I was reading about the good Samaritan my mind's eye took me back to a little island called Terceira in the Azores.

The year was 1986 and Serenity and I were driving home from a girl's night out. I don't know if any of you have ever lived in the Azores but I can tell you it is like stepping back 100 years. The roads are either cobblestone or dirt. Cows rule the roads. The fish man comes down the road with a yoke on carrying two baskets of really fresh fish. He yodels as he goes. The houses are tiny and plain. The fresh bread truck comes around twice a day with warm bread. Each person's property is marked by a homemade wall of stones. From a distance it looks like a beautiful patchwork quilt.

They don't use many "machines" They cut what little grass they have with scissors on their hands and knees. There is a NATO base there. The Portuguese people are considered backwards to the main land Portuguese. Living on the island really felt like a step back in time. Most of the islanders lived in poverty. With poverty comes alcoholism.

They worship using a form of Catholicism that would not be recognized here in the states. Each little "village" has a "holy spirit house". It is a tiny one room "house" that looks like a tiny church. When you walk in you see a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread, supposedly eaten by the "holy spirit". They are very superstitious people.

So on this one night daughter and I are driving home with no lights for the road and all the sudden I realize there is something in the road. I swerve and go around the "thing" that is in the road and pull over. I realize that "thing" is a man lying on the ground. Now remember daughter and I are on a very deserted road with no lights. I tell Serenity I have got to go see if he is hurt. Frankly, I thought he was dead. Serenity became scared and I told her to just lock the doors and I would be right back.

I slowly walked towards the man praying all the way as my heart was pounding in my chest. He was face down on the concrete. I roll him over and see blood everywhere. He was not dead which I was very thankful for! Now what to do with him? He was unconscious so couldn't help. This was a big guy and back in 1986 I was a skinny little thing. How was I going to carry/drag him back to the car? He needed medical attention and I was on a deserted road with no way to communicate. All of this is way before cell phones. This whole time all of this is running in my mind while I am praying for wisdom.
I finally decided I would not be able to carry him and that I would have to drag him to the car a truck load of Portuguese men drive up. I try to explain what had happened in my English and they tried to tell me what they were going to do in Portuguese! They finally pick him up and put him in the truck promising me he will get medical help.
As I walked back to the car I see these beautiful blue eyes as big as saucers taking in this whole scene. I get into the car and just look at my daughter. I was so thankful we were safe and the man would be getting help. Driving away my mind was racing. All the sudden Serenity says, "Mother, you were the good Samaritan just like in the Bible."
That is when it hit me with full force that I had jumped out of the car with no thought to my safety but naturally went to help someone lying in the road. Now, I certainly didn't tell you this story to have you think better of me then you should. Trust me when I say I have passed too many that I should have helped whether in the road or not.
When I read the story I am thankful to read what Jesus says at the end of the story,
And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Luke 10:37 (ESV)

Today, let me challenge you to show mercy to those who need to be shown mercy.

Think about it, won't you?

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