Each month we hear reports from our coordinators of the parts of the monthly teaching that resonated with the members of their chapters. This month we heard from several that a story Kolleen told has challenged the thinking of many as they evaluate their ability to #RestoreGenerosity.
We invite you to read Luke 10:25-37 and enjoy these excerpts from our July teaching. If you don’t attend an Activ8Her chapter yet and wonder if there is one near you, find out more at Activ8Her.org.
Kolleen shares: “I had a seed of fear planted long ago in my heart about stopping to help people on the side of the road when my dad stopped to help a man lying in the road. When he walked up to the man, the guy jumped up and began chasing my father. Thankfully, my dad made it to his car, locked the doors, put the car in reverse as the man tried to catch him”
What would you do in the same situation as Kolleen’s dad or the Samaritan? How do we respond when we come into contact with someone hurting and wounded?
Are we the priest - not getting close enough to a situation to be able to be moved by compassion? Do we keep our distance from a homeless person, an addict, an outcast for any number of reasons?
Do we know someone who is beaten half to death by society, or half beaten up by an unhealthy church experience?
Do we keep certain people at a distance so as not to get involved. Maybe even with a righteous attitude. We tell ourselves, they got themselves into this. They can get themselves out.
Are we the Levite? We come a little closer - close enough to draw an opinion or make a judgment about their situation? We gather just enough information to justify staying away.
Or Are we more like the Samaritan? Are we willing to come right into the situation? Are we willing to take the time, the risk, and the effort to be with them in their pit; to share their space with them? Will we come to the place where we can see them as a real, raw human being? Where we can see first hand their suffering, even when they are naked, mangled, hard to look at or stinky?
Getting there in that space with them is what puts us in a position to experience the Christ-like compassion that motivates us to action. Jesus moved with compassion in the same way many times during his lifetime.
Jesus asks, “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.’”
The parable of the good samaritan is a call to carry love and have compassion for those who are hurting, wounded or may be different from us - no matter the cost, regardless of who they are. We respond not as a work of our own, but motivated by the Holy Spirit. Being motivated by the Holy Spirit is key! We are not to be motivated by guilt or shamed into anything. God believes in boundaries. God wants to work faith into the life of others, too. He wants to be the One they look to - but He can use us in the process to be the answer to their prayers.
God’s entire plan for humanity is based on generosity. The root of generosity is compassion motivated by the Holy Spirit. The expression of generosity is action. To grow in generosity - we need to be ready to get involved, get close to a situation, a cause or a ministry
We have all been in the ditch and we could find ourselves there again. Where would you have been if someone hadn’t come upon you?