Thursday, June 9, 2011


The scripture for this morning was the story of the good Samaritan. I love that story for so many reasons. At the end of the parable Jesus gives a pop quiz: Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." Luke 10:36-37

I love this concept of being merciful. It reminds me of a piece of advice I received many years ago from an IBM colleague: "Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right." I think about that all the time (well, sadly I forget to think about it sometimes as I struggle to be right!) Substituting the word merciful for kind and the call to action is clear:  Go and do likewise.

So today I had several opportunities to think about neighbors. Early this morning I rushed to the pulperia (tiny neighborhood store) to buy two of the big bottles of water that go on the dispenser. In doing so I came across the first surly Hondurans I have ever encountered in all my visits to Honduras! A young man, flirting with the young woman behind the counter, watched me as I struggled to carry the first water bottle to the car. He impassively watched as I tumbled off the curb with the second one, landing face down in the gutter. She snatched the money from my bleeding hand and bruised arm as I limped to the car. Not a flicker of compassion or concern. Frankly I was flabbergasted because every single Honduran to this point has been merciful and kind.  I suppose it was my inadequate Spanish that kept me from making a snarky, unmerciful comment.

My next opportunity came at the airport as I met our latest team. A medical brigade from Tennessee that includes Dr. Jim and Hayley from February's brigade and Betty Lisle, the mother of Jeff Lisle who started the Honduras mission ministry at St.David's! Had he not, I would certainly still be slogging away at IBM. I owe Jeff a huge debt of gratitude and it was a thrill to tell his mom how he changed my life.

Next opportunity was at SBV as we played soccer with the kids and I FELL DOWN AGAIN! I was charging after the ball, defending the goal when a root popped up and twisted itself around my shoelace. I went flying head and hands first, quickly followed by knees, hip, shoulder... you get the picture. I had an immediate orthopedic consult with Dr. Jim and lots of love and sympathy from the kids and team members. Jose David even pointed out the offending root to prove I am not totally "torpe" (well, I am a klutz but I sure appreciated his merciful effort to spare my pride.)

I am lying on my bed with skinned knees and hands blogging as the brigade team, all of whom got up at 4AM, is still busy sorting meds and preparing to care for their neighbors in Colonia Emanuel. How blessed they will be when this team reacts as the Samaritan did showing love, care, mercy and sharing their faith with each one they see.

I want to close with the best reenactment of the Good Samaritan story ever!  Watch it, laugh, and then go and do likewise!