The believer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus told this story.
A brown skinned man was sitting in front of his house when ICE appeared.
He was grabbed, separated from his family, put in overcrowded cages with unlivable conditions, and left. His wife and daughter were separated, likewise.
His young daughter was forced to sleep on concrete. Wondering, what no child should ever wonder, “Where are my parents?”
She cried out to God, “Please help me!”
A prosperity gospel believer heard about this. But, he had to envision a better life for himself. He’d like to help. Maybe someday he would. He just couldn’t today.
A pro-life believer heard this news too. But, he had to be consistent with his beliefs.
“I have to defend the defenseless,” he thought. Once moral order is restored, surely, everyone will be ok. All they need to do is wake up and understand like he does.
So, he did what he always did because he knew best.
An orderly believer heard this news too. Surely, he would do something. He found these conditions most unacceptable. He even wanted to help.
“Still,” he thought, “There are good and bad people on both sides.”
He was taught to follow the rules; to work with people. He loved everyone.
So, he waited for the right time. Maybe others will see a better way in his example and change. It isn’t complacency, it is quiet witness.
Finally, there was one last person who heard these things too. A skeptic at best, an atheist at worst.
He wasn’t as together as the first three folks. He was sort of unkempt. He was brash and often joked with his friends, “If I came into church, the walls would fall down.”
Yet, he knew he couldn’t be quiet. People are dying!
He had a young daughter. He wept openly whenever he thought of her alone should he ever feel the need to flee whatever issues were so untenable. Things he couldn’t know or imagine about these other people’s lives but that didn’t matter so much when he looked into her eyes.
He just saw images of scared, abused, people. He saw children. Children like his daughter. So, he did what he could.
He spoke up.
He refused to be complicit by his silence.
He even protested at great personal risk.
Mostly, he vowed to fight for change with his voice, his vote, and his actions.
He’d do whatever it takes to stop these things and make sure they never happen again as long as he could help it.
Whatever his actions did or didn’t accomplish, ultimately, he’d do everything he could to protect, defend, and treat others as he would want to be treated.
“Which person do you think followed my commandment above all others to love God and neighbor?” Jesus asked, “Which person do you think followed me?”
“Go and do likewise.”
Love Always Includes Justice.
Wherever you are this day: Love Accepts You, No Exceptions.
Note: This story is based on Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37.