Pastor Linda's Message Blog

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Pastor Linda

Connecting - February 2019

 

Good Samaritans All



Never is a Good Samaritan more welcome than when Mother Nature dumps six to eight inches of snow on your drive, and the only power equipment you have for removing it is the trusty snow shovel and your own two arms.

The end-of-January big weekend snow presented a mystery. When we arrived at the parsonage Sunday morning, the drive was miraculously cleared. Warren and I wondered who had done such a great service for us and had done it anonymously. They had been and gone without even a thank you from us.

It bothered me that I wasn't able to thank our Good Samaritan, and so I began to do some investigative work. I noticed the left-behind tire tread imprints pressed in the snow on the drive. They were the same as those on the sidewalk. I surmised that the person who cleared the parsonage drive also cleared the sidewalk.

I remembered Dave Herman walked by as I was shoveling the prior week, and we shared a couple words. I had seen him clear the sidewalks before with a nifty 4-wheeler, and so I back channeled Leslie and Joe Herman saying, "Hey, if Dave was my Good Samaritan please thank him for me." But it wasn’t Dave. Hummmmm?

The next big snow visited just a few days later. Schools were closed. I decided to work from my office at the parsonage. The sun was supposed to come out in the afternoon and temperatures were to be a bit more moderate. My plan was to apply shovel and arms to the driveway after lunch.

Before long, I heard a motor and a familiar scraping noise. I looked out the window and caught my Good Samaritan in the act. It was my neighbor across the street, Dennis Carter, affectionately known as Grimy because he does dirt work for a living. Dennis was clearing the sidewalks and my drive! I hurried out to thank him profusely and offered to pay him but, true to Good Samaritan form, he wasn't interested in pay.

Good Samaritans have been spontaneously appearing of late. Restaurant owners responded to the government shutdown by offering government workers, who were not getting paid, free meals. Likewise, food pantries have sprung up specifically to give these folks caught in the political crosshairs free food. Americans have good hearts; when they see people in need they respond generously.

In our time, the concept of a Good Samaritan has broadened, but in Jesus' time, the Samaritans were an ethnic group despised by the Jews. Samaritans were of mixed heritage, and they worshipped differently. Yet it was the Samaritan who responded to the Jewish man robbed, beaten, and left for dead at the side of the road. The fellow Jews did not give aid to their own, but passed by the injured man on the far side of the road.

I pray for the time when we can see each other as people, and care for each other as fellow human beings. I think that is what Jesus is getting at when he told this story. No matter our personal deologies, we need to put away our differences and help one another in the journey of life. Help often comes as a beneficent surprise.

May we all be Good Samaritans, Pastor Linda