BE A NEIGHBOR
by Trevor Bowen
Scripture Focus: Luke 10:25-37
“Now go and do the same.” (Luke 10:37) The priest passed by, and the Levite responsible for worship in the temple passed by. Some scholars believe that these men passed by to avoid becoming unclean for temple worship. We can assume their decision was tied to their role – and a resistance to pressing into the pain of their neighbor. But the Samaritan man who stops isn’t asking questions about his role, or what others will think. He knows what he must do and stands rooted in that space.
How often do we pass by the pains of our neighbors for fear of getting our own hands dirty, or for fear of what others might think? It’s so much easier to avoid pain, often because we might feel uncomfortable with being honest about our own pain. But consider this: if we live, there will be pain. Being a neighbor is really about being willing to listen better, and seeing the deep pains and incredible joys of others. It’s more than just helping – but a willingness to climb into that ditch too.
Reflection: What pains are present in me that might be preventing me from seeing or moving toward pain in others? How can I be a better neighbor by choosing to move toward their pain and to listen?
Prayer: Jesus, show me where my own pain has blinded me to the opportunities to love my neighbors around me. Help me to set aside my fears and to truly love my neighbor.