Caleb and I were reading through the account of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) the other day, when something stuck out at me that I’d never considered before. But first, let’s take a quick glance through this familiar story.
A man was traveling between two cities. It was a treacherous road, full of thieves. As he hurried along, he was suddenly jumped upon by robbers. They stripped him, beat him, stole all that he had, and left him to die. He was an ugly sight, laying in pools of his own blood, naked, and pitiful. By and by, a church priest also came hurrying down the path. He saw the bloody, beaten man. Perhaps due to the man’s blood, or maybe due to the leader’s commitment, or possibly because he was afraid of robbers himself, he decided not to help the poor, pitiful, beaten man. Instead, he walked completely around the man, having to even go around a tree on the other side of the path to avoid coming near the wounded. Not long after, another man came walking down the path. This time it was a helper in the church. This man followed the steps of the church leader, as he too walked off the path, around the tree, and avoided the bloody man entirely. Finally, along came yet a third man. This man was not a church leader, but rather one who had been rejected by the church. He had his donkey with him, and he promptly got down upon seeing the beaten man, washed his wounds with oil and wine. He set the poor man upon his own donkey, and walked to the city. He then brought the wounded man to an inn, paid for care to be given to this man, and said that if the bills exceeded a certain amount, he would pay the rest when he came back later.
There is plenty to glean from this passage, and I encourage you to read through it again in Scripture if you haven’t in a while, but the verse that stuck out to me was the following:
“And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”
It suddenly dawned on me that the Samaritan had prepared for a situation to come up! He brought oil, and wine, and extra money. He had an extra stash, a first-aid kit, to help out those who needed it. I’ve often heard the moral that we need to help anyone we come across, which is true. But how often have we thought of preparing for helping?
Our family lives on a main highway pretty far out in the country. We are 30 minutes from town in either direction. We are also 30 minutes from any grocery store, gas station, or anything else for that matter. You might find plenty of cows pretty close to us, but that’s about it. However, as I said, we do live on a busy highway. It connects two of the larger towns (if any rural midwest town can be considered ‘larger’), and we have a substantial amount of traffic. Several times since we have moved here, we have had people stop in our driveway for one need or another. Possibly it’s as simple as asking directions. Others ran out of gas when GPS told them to take the ‘shortcut’, and still others had flat tires. It made us think. Do we have extra gas on hand at all times? Do we have a jack? What about the little things? Do we have disposable cups to give them a hot chocolate or ice tea to drink on their way? Do we keep our home in such a way that we aren’t embarrassed to bring someone in for a few unexpected moments? Are we practicing showing love to our family so that when a stranger comes, it is easy for us to know how to help him best?
I realize that not everyone has the same opportunities that we have. But everyone has the opportunities appropriate for their own life. Perhaps in your life it’s a stressed-out mom in the grocery store. Do you have a little book or toy you could give the child to help occupy him while Mama shops? Perhaps it’s an elderly couple walking in the rain without an umbrella or hat. Do you have an extra one on hand that you can give them? Perhaps it’s a young man caught up in the lusts of the world. Do you have a simple, truthful tract you could hand out to him that he would appreciate reading?
I encourage you to think about what preparations are needed in your life. Let’s each make a stash – A Good Samaritan Stash.