After Jesus said the law is summed up in “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself,” a hot shot preacher type piped up, “Who is my neighbor?”
“There was a man beat up by robbers and left to die,” Jesus said. He went on to talk about how the hot shot preacher types walked on by. It was the outsider, the hated Samaritan who stopped and helped the man, putting him up at an inn with plenty of money for his care. Jesus told the hot shot, “Go and do likewise.” I bet Jesus knew who the man needed to tend.
I was recently asked to give a gift I did not want to give. I am tired of being generous. Facebook is full of requests for donations. I keep scrolling, feeling guilty. I have been burned -- introducing friends only to be rejected by both parties. The sting gets old. But this story took me up short. It’s not just the visibly sick or suffering that we’re called to tend. Sometimes we are called to help out someone we don’t want to help out, and it costs time, money, and privacy. Sometimes something opens in your soul like a window, the wind blowing curtains when you help even though you don’t want to.
Pushing against our own selfishness builds our generous muscle. Maybe that’s a strength we could use these days.
I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.