We all have a brand new year ahead – and for most of us that looks like new goals, dreams and plans. Come January we are all envisioning what the New Year could be like, but what if I told you that right now, even in the midst of a new year, you have a neighbor who is hurt and abandoned in a ditch. It’s easy to overlook this neighbor, and after all you are busy and on your way to planning a big, new year ahead. Does this story sound familiar?
The parable of the Good Samaritan gives us a powerful illustration for how we should be responding to our neighbors in need. After others passed by this man who was left injured by robbers in a ditch, Luke 10:33 tells us that “a certain Samaritan” had compassion for the man. The Samaritan saw this man needed Hope and he did something incredibly powerful. The Samaritan took the man to an inn, providing him with a temporary Home, and he paid for his stay until he was fully Healed. When Jesus told this story in the book of Luke He said, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise.’”
In our immediate community, we may not see men left to die by robbers along our path, but we certainly encounter destitute and broken people all around us. The at-risk families and kids in our communities and in the foster care system aren’t always easy to see but they are right here in our backyards. Much like the Good Samaritan we have the ability to extend Hope even in a seemingly hopeless situation, we can provide a Home even if it is just a temporary one, and we can offer Healing for kids and families in need.
The heart of redemption
It’s easy to see how we have the chance to be like the Good Samaritan – to be like the neighbor Jesus commands us to be.
The harder thing to see is how we too have been like the man in the ditch. Though we have not literally been attacked by robbers, we all know the pain of hopelessness, the longing for our heavenly home, and deep desire for healing. This work of Hope, Homes and Healing isn’t only invitational for all of us to extend out into the community, but it’s also a living picture of what God has done in each and every one of our lives.
The paradigm shift
It’s what makes our 4KIDS paradigm of Hope, Homes and Healing filled with redemption. Hope is experienced through preventative-based outreach and care, homes are extended to children in foster care, and healing is offered through trauma-informed therapy, training and digital resources. We see the power of this paradigm over and over again in God’s Word, and we feel it in our own lives and stories of restoration.
This year I pray you set not only goals and plans, but intention and prayer to propel hope, homes and healing in our community. Let us not be like the priest and Levite in this parable who chose to look the other way, but instead recognize moments like these as an opportunity to display the selfless love of Christ. Like the Good Samaritan, let’s mirror the same compassion we’ve been given to make redemption possible for even more people who are waiting.
“Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).
Learn more at 4KIDS.us/programs/foster-care
Read more articles by Kevin Enders at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/author/kevin-enders/