How well do you see others? I mean really see them. Everyone has needs, and God uses you and I to meet those needs. It may as simple as a drink of water or it may cost you more of your time and resources. Whatever the case may be, God wants you to really see the needs in others and ask Him what you can do to love and serve others.
Lately, my neighbors and I have been taking turns caring for each other’s dogs while one is away. It works well when everyone is willing to help out. This past week, Rob and I were able to get away. We went to Vancouver, British Columbia. It was our second time going. The scenery is something else. While there, God opened my eyes to the needs around me. The first time we went was three years ago. What I saw this time was way more prevalent, more destitute people on the streets. I know every city has poverty and homelessness, but this time, I saw so much more.
Just a few blocks from Gastown, a historical neighborhood in the heart of Vancouver, the atmosphere changes greatly. You go from affluency to poverty. The change is striking! Along many of the streets in the city, you see broken people being taken advantage of. On too many corners, you walk by disabled people or those down on their luck for whatever reason, sound asleep on cardboard beds. What caught my attention is that many of them had dogs sleeping with them. The dogs looked groomed with new collars and leashes on. I pondered how in the world are these dogs able to sleep with so much commotion going on around them. Wouldn’t they be guarding their masters? They have to be drugged, I thought.
There are those who are taking advantage of the poor for their own gain. I believe this injustice is going on in every city around the globe. There are those who stage these individuals who can’t help themselves on street corners in hopes your heart strings will be pulled and you will give some money to help the individual, but does he or she get even a penny of it? I doubt it.
It’s a tragic reality that this world is bent on enslavement. It always has since Satan got his way with Adam and Eve. Trafficking is a big business in this sin-soaked world that we live in. It’s hard to fathom how prevalent it is in 2022, especially in wealthy countries like the USA and Canada.
Since coming home, I’ve asked God, “What do I do? What can I do?” I sat down this morning to read my Bible. Wouldn’t you know that I am in Luke 10 and the next passage of study is on the Good Samaritan, verses 30-37. I chuckle at God’s timing. A religious expert asked Jesus who his neighbor was, see verse 29. So, Jesus tells of a story of a man who was down on his luck. He was traveling and some bandits decided to hurt him. Jesus told of three different men who saw the beaten man laying there unable to help himself.
The first man was a priest. He saw the man yet walked on the other side of the street minding his own business. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at the man, yet chose to go on too. The third man was a Samaritan who was disliked by the Jews. The first two men were Jewish. They didn’t have time or any interest in helping this battered man out.
The Samaritan saw the man and felt compassion for him; see verse 33. He took the time to soothe the man’s wounds, bandage him up, and take him to safety using his own resources and money.
Jesus asked the religious expert, “Out of the three, who was a neighbor?” The man answered, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus replied, “Yes, now go and do the same.”37
What we learn from Jesus is that He wants you and I to have compassion on others. If they have a need, help them out. Yes, it may cost you. It may cost you your time or money. Whether it does or it doesn’t isn’t what is important. What is important is that you and I are responding to others the same way Jesus responds to us. Jesus loves with compassion and mercy. He if faithful to do so.
May you and I live each day with our eyes open to the needs of others. We need to be in constant communication with the Holy Spirit as He leads you and I in making another’s day brighter. When He shows you, go and do the same as the Samaritan did for a stranger. You will then be the hands and feet of Christ.