I’ve heard the parable of the Good Samaritan three times today. Each time my heart caught at the mention that the compassionate stranger poured wine and oil onto the victim’s wounds. Strange concoction…but then again, maybe not! Ingredients of a basic “dressing”, no? And the Good Samaritan must have had some sense that this was a healing balm. I reflected that this probably wasn’t the first time that he (or she) had interrupted plans to help someone in need. It must have been a habit developed over the course of years.
I guess all of us wonder if we would have stopped. That is part of Jesus’ genius in the story: to get us wondering…who am I in this picture? I think that I’ve played every part now.
The experience of being one in need, even sometimes unconsciously, who receives care from the most unexpected sources, should sensitize my heart to the needs of others. It should keep me from being so self-absorbed, from averting my eyes and closing my ears.
And if that is not enough reason to think twice before walking by another’s need, Jesus also reminds me, “What you do to the least of these, you do to me.”