The story goes a bit like this. I received a call from a mother of a student last Sunday as I was getting ready to head home. Evidently her son had gotten a flat tire and was stranded on the side of the road having never really changed a tire before. So I gallantly rode in to help out. Strangely enough he had made it down the road a ways and was parked in front of a church. So I jumped out to help out and found out we were in for more than we thought. Evidently the tire had rusted/froze onto the wheel well and there was no budging this thing. Although, we did have a couple of guys try to stop by and help us. The first, who was smoking like a chimney jumped out even though he was late to a meeting with some guys about a job. In his attempts to help us he even let a few choice words fly. And he apologized sincerely for his inability to help. The second guy who stopped by was covered in ink from head to toe and also had less than desirable language. But he even worked for a tire shop and helped us to realize our efforts were futile and we would be better off calling a tow-truck; which was the eventual solution. But the weirdest part about all of this is that it was 12:30 PM on a Sunday in front of a church, twenty degrees outside and not one person in “church clothes” stopped to ask what was going on or even offered help.
Kind of reminds me of a similar story. It goes a bit like this, “Jesus answered by telling a story. “There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man. “A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’ “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?” “The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded. Jesus said, “Go and do the same.” – Luke 10:30-37 The Message
So my question is, what keeps us from compassion? Lunch appointments…the cold…not wanting to get our clothes dirty? I just hope that maybe the next time we encounter that moment for Christ’ action that the roast and potatoes can wait.