“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
— Luke 10:36
Jesus’ parable about the good Samaritan has inspired many people throughout the centuries to act with kindness toward others—especially those who may be different from them or who are even their enemies. (In Jesus’ day the Jews and Samaritans detested each other, and Jesus taught this parable partly as a lesson about caring for people whom we think of as enemies.) Ultimately this story teaches that everyone around us is a neighbor whom God calls us to love just as he loves them—without strings attached. We are reminded to show the kindness of God to everyone and to reach out to people who are hurting.
Though we might not encounter a situation like the one Jesus describes here, we all have opportunities to be kind. We may be rushing off to class, hurrying off to work, or going about our busy day, and we can be so focused on the task at hand that we can miss seeing an opportunity to be kind and to care for someone.
But when we are in step with the Spirit, who lives within us, we find that the Spirit helps us notice such things. The Spirit sees and hears the brokenness and hurts around us. The Spirit helps us to discern . . . that person needs a kind word, or that person needs a random act of kindness.
The question I face today is simple. Will I listen, or will I be too busy doing my own things?
Spirit of God, move us to show kindness in every situation we find ourselves in. In Jesus’ name, Amen.