“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
I have read the story in Luke 10 many times about the Good Samaritan and I have heard many sermons preached on this passage, but I’ve never thought much about the ‘expert in the law’ whose line of questioning prompted the story. However, last night as I read the passage – ‘but he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” – The passage pricked my spirit and prompted me to really search my heart.
What I discovered there made my heart ache and my eyes sting with tears as I realized that while I envisioned myself as the Good Samaritan, I was really far more like the priest or Levite. I want to choose my neighbor; I want to choose those to whom I offer my love and assistance. I don’t really look for the wounded or seek out those who have been beaten and robbed by this fallen world in which we live, and when I do meet them I struggle to know how to show them compassion or share God’s love with a wounded heart.
However, I am blessed to know a Good Samaritan. Her gifting is finding those who are wounded and offering her heart to help bind up those wounds, washing them with her own tears of compassion. It was her heart for others that drew five beautiful women to her this past weekend and I was honored to be chosen as one of them. It was there that I met my neighbor and my Pharisee heart was softened. I still have much to learn and some walls to tear down, but thanks to the Good Samaritan and her example, I am learning.