The parable of the Good Samaritan is a touching reminder to love without limits. All become our neighbors when we become disciples of Jesus Christ. However, in our human frailties, learning to embody charity can seem overwhelming or difficult.
Luckily, one particular phrase from the parable gives us a good place to start.
In the parable, both the priest and the Levite who come across the wounded man avoided drawing near. Luke 10 tells us they “passed by on the other side.”
However, the Good Samaritan does something different. He “came where he was.”
In this simple phrase is deep symbolism on our first steps to serving others as Christ would.
Are we willing to meet people where they are? Are we willing to go beyond our comfort zones and venture into new, unfamiliar territory? Will we do our best to mourn with the wounded souls of others, even if we don’t know what to do and can offer little relief? Or will we stay where things are sunny and pleasant, watch the storms rage on the other side of the road?
If we take a risk and take heart, Christ can help us as we cross that road. We will receive clarity and strength. Just as the Good Samaritan, we will be inspired to bring those struggling to the one who can heal them, the Savior of the world.
What does it look like to go where people are? Here are a few ideas.
- Practice active listening.
- Visit with people one-on-one.
- Admit when you don’t have the answers.
- Always act when you think you should do something kind.
- Speak up for someone, even if it makes you unpopular.
- Pray for eyes to see those who need your help.
- Seek to serve others, not to convert them.
If we make those first few steps to meet people where they are, we will be surprised at the service opportunities that come our way.