My heart is always touched by the story of the Good Samaritan. The kindness this brother was made of can only be contributed to his true relationship with Christ.
The story begins before it Jesus even starts to tell it. A certain lawyer approaches Christ and asks him “Master, what shall I do to inherit Eternal life?” (Luke 10:25) Tempting Christ, the Savior in turn replies, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke 10:27) Lawyers were also known as scribes back then. They were well educated and were very letter-of-the-law. They wrote the law in greater detail and taught people the law. They were always caught trying to trip up Jesus, but Christ always returned peace. So here Christ was showing how He lived the story He was about to tell this man and all of us. He always taught kindly. The lawyer than came at him with the question that begins the story, “And who is my neighbour?” (verse 29).
“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee” (Luke 10:30-35)
Christ could have easily said, “everyone, you turd.” Instead though he lets us learn. The Samaritans weren’t their favorite people back then, and being the one used in the example was very edgy. He then follows with this question to the Lawyer:
“Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” (verse 36).
Then Christ tells the Lawyer and all of us, “Go, and do thou likewise.”
So I took on the invitation. I am in the Relief Society presidency and am over a large group of sisters. But while I was thinking about how this applied to me, I thought of all the sisters I lived by that I wasn’t over and prayed to help one of them. I am always open to helping those I am obligated to overview, but am I open to helping those I don’t have to. Then on Valentines Day I ran into a couple of sisters in a different ward and asked them what they were doing. They all had dates but one. So I asked her out on a date and told her to wear her favorite dress. I then took her to SodaVine and paid for her so she really could enjoy her time. It was so nice and a lot of fun for me. I don’t tell this story to toot my own horn but to prove prayers are answered if we have a willing heart.
Our charity isn’t just needed by those the Lord puts us over. It is for those who need Jesus Christ, so that narrows it down to everyone.
A word that stuck out to me was “wounded.” I looked up in the topical guide and its comparison is “cruelty.” Which connected it to, “Oppression, persecution, and scourge.” That gave this whole thing a new feel to me. It no longer was just physical pain, but emotional torture.
“I have a cherished painting in my office that is titled Entrance to Enlightenment. It was created by a friend of mine, the Danish artist Johan Benthin, who was the first stake president in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The painting shows a dark room with an open door from which light is shining. It is interesting to me that the light coming through the door does not illuminate the entire room—only the space immediately in front of the door.
To me, the darkness and light in this painting are a metaphor for life. It is part of our condition as mortal beings to sometimes feel as though we are surrounded by darkness. We might have lost a loved one; a child might have strayed; we might have received a troubling medical diagnosis; we might have employment challenges and be burdened by doubts or fears; or we might feel alone or unloved.
But even though we may feel lost in the midst of our current circumstances, God promises the hope of His light—He promises to illuminate the way before us and show us the way out of darkness” (The Hope of God’s Light, Elder Uchtdorf).
So remember, when faced with the cruelties of the world, look for the Samaritans in your life, they are there. You do not stand alone. There is someone praying to be needed by you.