I can picture her still so old and frail, hobbling up the steep hill leaning on her pair of homemade walking sticks. “What do you have there Zia (Aunty)?” my husband asked, pointing to the open-mesh bag on her kerchief-covered head. While I just gaped, wondering how many other nasty things she’d carried on that seldom-washed, dirty head scarf!
Just a lowly street man, that’s all he was. Ill, bedraggled, poor, and suffering for 38 long years. And there he lay, near the healing waters, always hoping for a miracle or cure. Waiting for someone, anyone, to notice him. To see his need, and help him into the water.
I once thought putting hot coals on an enemy’s head meant hurting whoever hurt me. Giving tit for tat. Yet I couldn’t reconcile that with Christ’s command to love our enemies. I’d made the common mistake of taking God’s words out of context, which can make them seem to say things that God never intended.
Communication has existed from before the beginning of time. And it began with God. When he created everything, through speech. He simply spoke and it all came into being.
Feeling fearful, terrified even, at what’s going on in the world? We live in evil, scary times. But in the midst of it all, God trusts us to show that his perfect love casts out fear. He waits to see us reach out with love, not draw away in fear. And to give and keep on giving, no matter the cost.
In Christ’s time, the world seemed a smaller place. With an average day’s travel covering only 20 miles (32 km), people knew their neighbors and met few strangers. Caring for everyone should have been easy. And yet, in the story of the Good Samaritan, Christ had to teach them who their neighbors were.