Devotional Readings

Our Turn to Be the Good Samaritan

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among thieves? Luke 10:36.

This is Bill’s story, as told to me by his friend, Elsie.

Bill fell slowly to the ground as he was crossing the busy street. He picked himself up and felt that tingling in his hands and experienced the blurred vision that reminded him once again of the recent stroke he had suffered. As he leaned heavily on the lamppost, he thought of his plight. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and he had walked a long way from his house–more than a mile. He knew there was a hospital just a few blocks in the opposite direction. He slowly walked to it, thinking they would take care of him. He stopped at the admitting desk, and the nurse asked many questions. The doctor asked even more. Bill tried to tell them he thought he was having a stroke. Either they didn’t hear him or didn’t believe him. No, they said, they could not (or would not) take care of him. He could go home or to the veteran’s hospital.

Bill turned away, not quite understanding what was going on. He managed the walk as far as the bus stop and took the bus to Harvard Square. Again he almost fell as he was getting off. A young woman student grabbed onto his arm and held him upright, asking what she could do for him. Bill explained his problem. “I guess I need to go to the veteran’s hospital across town.” The student flagged a taxi and helped Bill into the back seat, making sure he was comfortable. Handing the taxi driver a $20 bill, she said, “Please take him to the veteran’s hospital. If there is any change, give it to him.” And with a smile and a little wave, she called, “Goodbye; take care of yourself!” He blew a kiss to her as a taxi pulled away.

She was a young student, but quickly became a good Samaritan. She didn’t see his ethnicity, only his need. She didn’t put him on a donkey, but into a modern taxi, and like the Samaritan of old, provided funds to take care of his problem–enough for the taxi and a little extra. The stories are so similar. May we not fail the test when our turn comes in this our modern age.

–Dessa Weisz Hardin

from A Word from Home
Ardis Stenbakken (editor) | Review & Herald (2005)
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