A Stranger Cared

Luke 10:25-37

I drift back into consciousness.
Stony ground lies rough against my face,
Hard against my wounded limbs.
Beaten, stripped,
Left for dead.
World upside down.
Jericho distant dream
Jerusalem …a memory
The sun is now beating me.
How I hurt.
I call out with no voice
“Help me please…
Please help me…!”

Footfalls approach.
Eye opens. Someone comes.
Nearer, nearer.
Focus. A priest!
I am saved!

Disbelief!
Nothing. No word, no help.
Just footfalls continuing
And receding.
They didn’t even pause.
Gone.

Time drifts.

More footfalls. At last!
I look up from the ground. It is a Levite.
He looks towards me.
Please!
There is room at the far side of the road to take him out of reach
And he takes that route because he does not want to be distracted.
And off he goes with his high thoughts,
More important than me, just left to die.

Growing fear grasps me with entwining roots of helpless loneliness….

I feel his compassion before I feel the gentle binding of my wounds.
Eyes now open; a Samaritan is holding me,
His tender care speaking of love and brotherhood.
I’ve never seen him before, yet he is no stranger.
I feel his love and am at peace.
Reaching out to where I am,
Giving of his oil and wine, giving of himself.
His beast bears my burdened body and we reach an inn.
He amply provides for my care.
And goes.

I never see him again.
But his love stays always with me.
He restored my life, and gave it new meaning
Selfishness transformed by unconditional love:
The serenity of care and forgiveness now embraces my innermost thoughts,
A new and true sense of family.
And I give thank to God,
Because a stranger cared.

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