Last week I was driving to school when all of a sudden traffic slowed. It was in a spot where there didn't seem to be a reason for people to slow down or stop. I was in the right lane and the center lane kept moving along just fine. People ahead of me started pulling around so I figured there must be something in the roadway. When there was an opening I pulled around and as we moved up we could see why people had stopped. There was a homeless man who was riding a motorized scooter. He had gotten a little too close to the curb and the scooter had tipped over into the street.
As we neared I could see the man was getting up and it appeared that he was going to be okay. Yet there was something inside of me that said I should stop and help him out. So you know what I did next, I kept driving to school. I rationalized it in my own mind saying that I was sure he was okay, I was running late to a meeting, I had three students in the car and I shouldn't make them stop. These were all excuses. I know I should have stopped to help him. The fact that I am writing about this a week later and still thinking about it is another indication I should have stopped.
I started thinking about the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10. I had always thought of myself as the person who would stop and help someone in need. But here I was acting like the priest or the Levite and passing by on the other side. I literally moved over, just as they had in the parable, to get by and not stop.
I love the last line of the parable that Jesus told. In verse 37 it says, "Go and do likewise." There wasn't a condemnation of the people who had just passed on by, there was simply an instruction. The people were told to act in the way the Good Samaritan did. My hope is that the next time I come across a situation like this I can listen to the voice that is telling me to stop and follow the instruction to "go and do likewise."