We all should be familiar with the Good Samaritan story, and each of us draws individual lessons from this tried-and-true parable. Reading or hearing it, we each see it through our own particular lenses… just as the actual participants did!
And that’s where it gets REALLY interesting. Admit it, although 2000+ years have passed, we still have our own perceptions of the world – and people – around us. Whether divided by income, education, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, geography or traditions, we each have specific attitudes and subconscious biases, based on all of these influences.
God knows this and specifically anticipated it, as He spoke through Jesus to deliver this message. Yes, ultimately, He does want us to be compassionate and charitable, spelling it out quite clearly as THE key to eternal life: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:5) …You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge…but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)
But, the heart of this story lies in the history of all those mentioned in the Good Samaritan scriptures. Both the Priest and Levite – as men of God may have had a variety of motivations for not only failing to stop and give aid, but actually moving their path to the opposite side of the road. And, you can find a wide variety of biblical scholars who share their particular beliefs. However, a genuinely intriguing part of this story lies in the ROAD, itself!
See, the road from Jerusalem to Jericho (where this occurred) was actually known as the “Way of Blood” or the “Bloody Path” during the time of this incident. And, rather than risk either being robbed, beaten or killed themselves, these holy men chose to just avoid a possibly-unpleasant, or even risky, situation by virtually pretending it wasn’t even there. With their elevated positions of honor, respect, financial provision and status, why should they take chances?!
Now, when it came to our other two characters – the victimized Jew and the Samaritan traveler – a bit of background might bring a new perspective. Again, yes, the Samaritan did the good and right thing. But, in doing what he did, he overcame some HUGE obstacles to do so:
- He faced the exact same risk as the Priest and Levite… as did ANY traveler on that road. And, as a Samaritan, he did not have position or power to fall back on, like the others, should he become the robbers’ next prey.
- Going back for years, the Jews and Samaritans had engaged in a bitter and vicious hatred of each other, even desecrating respective holy sites and temples. This pure venom even prevented some from simply uttering the names “Jew” or “Samaritan”!
Yet, the Samaritan – based on his particular influences – could have easily, and almost blamelessly, chosen to ignore the situation. And that brings us around to YOU! You could have easily chosen to not see the heart-wrenching poverty, to ignore the horrific dangers, pretend these daily lives of desperation just did not exist. But, just like the Good Samaritan, you didn’t!
And, just as the healed Jew owed his very life to the Samaritan, the amazing people of Santa Pancha, Nicaragua owe you not only their lives, but the lives of their future generations. Yes, the Santa Pancha Village Community Development Project has finally borne some sweet, sweet fruit!
Barely two-and-a-half years into this monumental campaign, to raise $5 MILLION, we’re home… or, more appropriately, they’re HOME! Check out what YOU accomplished:
- ALL of the remaining homes, sanitation and water solutions, are finished.
- Families are living in their new homes and deeply grateful for these life-changing gifts. The luxury of having clean drinking water just outside their homes is a dream many would have never thought possible. But today, they enjoy this blessing and so much more!
- Eco-stoves have been installed, lowering the fire risk and health hazards of their traditional cooking methods.
- The animal husbandry component has been completed.
- Patio hens were purchased and delivered to all families, following construction of coops.
- Hand grinders also were delivered to every household, to make food concentrate for the chickens.
Audalis del Socorro Martínez Pineda, a beneficiary shared, “I am a mother of four children and my house, the chicken coop and all the donations have been a great blessing. When I received the hens I did not have a job, I was at home with my children, and therefore, I told to my boys that we were going to take care of the chickens in order to eat eggs. The hens laid enough eggs, 10 chickens were born and grown. Thanks to this project, I feed my children with eggs and tomatoes… I thank God… and Dani Johnson, for their help. Thanks to our Lord, now I live in a safe and beautiful home, with furniture, a hygienic toilet and I do not spend a cent to buy eggs.”
In our daily comfort of clean running water… food just down the block… never having to make a choice between leaving your child in mortal danger to forage through trash or not have any provisions for that day… you made that extra effort! You are a modern-day Good Samaritan – you saw beyond your own influences to build 1000 homes, to provide a safe and sustainable life for countless families.
And, rest assured, God knows what you did – and will continue to do – and takes note: “… ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” (Matthew 25:40)