I love Jesus. I love His simplicity. I love how easily He puts things into perspective. I love how when all the religious leaders wanted to prove Him wrong, false, and even sinful that His answers were never hour long oratories. Simple, concise. Believe and follow or don’t.
Often I find myself in the midst of a conversation where someone is telling me why adoption isn’t right for them. It’s not something I bring up on a regular basis so I always wonder how I wound up back in this discussion. Sometimes I discover that when you are silent and listening people shout truths they would otherwise keep buried down inside of them. And I wonder in those moments, what should I say? How would that simplistic man who wore an invisible crown break this down and state the facts? And you know what? I soften what I know that He would say. Because I am not Him and I stammer to spit it back without softening the blow.
When you have seen the orphan is it okay to pass them by? Is it okay to feel like you will not be good enough to fulfill their needs? Let’s chat for a bit about that.
Jesus, that simple God-man, once again provides answers for us. Concise as always. Love it.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.”
Check. Done. Adoring Him feels natural. After all He is our Savior. Feeling really good about this.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
And suddenly we begin to rationalize what that means. Backpedal. Retreat! Retreat, I say!!
And He knows that we are rationalizing it. He knows. Yikes. He knows our thoughts on this. And He does not retreat and soften it for us. Not in the least.
Our neighbor is defined by the guy on the side of the road, bruised, torn, and beyond repair. Who walks by him? The priest. Not kidding, my face just grimaced and I turned to the side. I can’t even handle typing that. The weight of that sentence is huge. The priest. The main guy. The leader who follows every single law and spends his entire life following God. The priest not only walked by, but went to the other side of the road. Good gracious. He went to the other side! We are failing here.
Then the Levite, strong, spiritual, leader…..skips on over to the other side and walks on by. What? Someone, can we get a redo??? Like a middle man who slips them a note and reminds them of the God they love? That would be good. For the love tap that man on the shoulder someone.
And then Jesus really lays it out there.
The Samaritan, the unlikely one, the one we would be condemning on a daily basis for everything he does wrong, stops and walks toward the man. That awful, sinful man (as we would see him, but not as he is) showed more faith and more of God’s character in that moment then anyone. He took care of him, gave him his own animal (sacrificed his comfort) and gave of his own funds to make sure this man was safe and healing.
“You go and do likewise.” Those are His final words to us about this subject. GO….do it. Forget your status in your church. Forget your leadership skills. None of it matters here. “Go.”
But we want someone, somewhere to recant His words. To pat us on the back and tell us that we are correct in our reasons for not being the one to help. We want to believe our own comforting words, but by our confessions we already know that to leave a vulnerable human being without cover, without assistance is denying the Greatest Commandment.
And I want to make exceptions for all of us. I want to soften this blow to us, to myself. But He didn’t. He didn’t say if the guy was ugly enough or too far gone that we can walk on by and still claim to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Strangely I still want to defend that priest…I am sure he was very busy that day! Can I get an amen?
Jesus said that to “love your neighbor as yourself” you must “go and do likewise.” So let’s stop scrolling through our Facebook news feed. Let’s stop saying we wouldn’t be good enough mothers. Let’s stop saying that their needs are too great. And let’s start following the King of Creation. Do we believe Him? Do we love him? Do we love our neighbors as ourselves? Then the answer is already given to you.
Go. go. go. Sister, brother, it is time to pack up our excuses. Let’s not be the priest, always religious and never following Christ. Let’s not be the Levite spouting spiritual knowledge and passing by the hurting ones. Today, let’s just stop. Stop what we are busy doing. Stop and notice our neighbor who needs us. These children, they are your neighbor in every real sense of the word.
Go. And bring them home.