So I'm the Levite passing by...

I don't know what the solution is.

I wish I did.

It is that inner conflict that I have as I am driving down the road. The other day, I saw a man carrying grocery sacks on both arms in the rain. I felt so sorry for him. I thought about if that was my dad, and nobody stopped to help him. I wanted to stop and give him a ride so bad. But then, there is always that fear that comes over me. I'm not stronger than him. What if he pulled out a weapon and tried to take my car. It is a reality that you have to consider. But I hate it. It makes it hard to stop and help men on the side of the road if you are a woman. It makes it hard to give people a ride, even if it is a few blocks down the street.

Why does it have to be so hard? And what is the solution?

I'm torn.

And then there are those homeless people that hang out in the dark outside of gas stations and other stores. The other night, it was late, and I was driving back from one of my Relay For Life Meetings in VanZandt County. I stopped to get some gas and a drink at an Exxon right off of I-20. As I was going into the store, I noticed a homeless man sitting on the curb a few feet from the door, but kind of in the shadows of the sign out front. It was pretty late and there was nobody else at this gas station except for the clerk inside, me, and the homeless man. I remember debating with myself in the store whether or not I was going to come out, walk over to the man, and hand him my change from the drink. I went back and forth inside my head.

Back and forth.

No, it could be dangerous. Yes, he just needs money. No, it is too dark out there. Yes, God would be disappointed if you don't. On and on I went and argued with myself until the next thing I know, I was pushing the door opened and walking out.

And I just kept walking. Right to my car.

I got in, set my drink down, locked the doors, and put the car in drive.
Then I looked in my rear view mirror at the man sitting on the curb and burst into tears as I drove away. I let my fear get the best of me, and I was ashamed.

Some people would say that I am not being a good Christian example if I continue to walk or drive by. And then there are some that say that I have to use my wisdom and know when it would be dangerous for me to stop and help. But every time could be dangerous.

So what do you do?

Of course if it were a mother and her children I would stop. But for a man twice my size? Do I just watch too many mystery shows about women going missing? Or is my fear legitimate?

I feel like I am a let down to God.

Sometimes I think that He would want me to stop and help no matter what the risks are.

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

-Luke 10:29-37

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.
-Matthew 25:35-40
Does anyone else struggle with this?
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1 comment :

  1. Yes! I too hate that conflict in my conscience. I don't want to be the next story on the news, but we are told to be generous to those in need. My solution for now is to give to the church and know that that money goes to spread God's word and help those in need. I think volunteering in groups at established organizations is also a great thing to do and generally pretty safe. Unfortunately I have not been making the time lately to do that, and I think that's something that I need to change.


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