We live in a world geared toward sharing and interacting with others on an unprecedented scale. From a distance.
Ironically, the technological/ social ‘revolution’ has created more distance between human beings than ever before. Sure, we like, ‘poke’ (on FB, just to be clear), wave and ‘share’ every single day. We take selfies with everything from our meals to Granny’s cat.
But we hide behind our devices and our carefully created images. We don’t know our neighbours, because it isn’t safe (but sharing everything on social media is…). As an introvert who borders on being a (happy) hermit, this shouldn’t even matter to me. Except that it got me thinking…
About all the broken, hurting people in the world, who hide their pain because it isn’t fashionable. Who die a little inside every single day because they feel so alone and utterly afraid to reveal their vulnerability. The world moves around them (not always in oblivion to their condition) – keeping a safe distance from the messiness of their pain.
The Good Samaritan in the Bible is a sweet Sunday School memory for most of us. But think about this. The man who lay bleeding and broken in that ditch was left there by people from his own culture and social standing. People passed him by – pretending not to notice, but CHOOSING not to get involved.
The Samaritan was someone who should never have stopped based on strict social/ cultural rules. There would have been a stigma attached to his interaction with the victim. More than that, the victim was dirty and bleeding – helpless. He needed to be carried to the nearest town, where the Samaritan paid for his care at his own cost. This is no inconsequential Bible Story – this is a crucial life lesson, especially for our time, no matter what your religious persuasions are.
Are you prepared to reach out when your friends will think it’s uncool? Are you willing to carry someone who is hurting – physically/ emotionally/ spiritually? Are you prepared to let someone’s blood/ dirt/ tears stain your fancy shirt, and allow their story to break your heart?
Dirt, tears and blood can be washed from shirts and hands. You can find new friends with more depth and integrity. But a human life is fragile, precious, transient. The Samaritan also had boundaries – he was there to pick someone up and facilitate healing, not enable a victim mentality. He saw, he stopped, he cared, and he did what he could. He saved a life.
What will it cost you today to reach out to someone who is breaking inside? Will you consider it worth the price?