Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Good Samaritian ~

So I gave a talk today in my new ward about The Parable of the Good Samaritan. I have always known about his parable, but was REALLY opened to deeper meaning recently...For those of you that have not heard the story, here is a summary... A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Levite walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.'


It really made me think about WHAT would I have done!? If the same situation happened to me now, would I stop to help? Would I pull over my car with two kids to help a stranger that most likely hated Mormons, and take them to a hospital? THEN would I offer to pay for their medical bills, and return to the hospital to check on them later?

Just something to think about. We are all trying to be like Jesus... RIGHT? So what does Jesus say at the end of this Parable... "Go and do likewise."

In my talk I also covered things WE can do to help those in need today. And I shared a story that made me realize it is not only the BIG things we do that help us to be like Jesus... it is the SMALL things too... Read this Story, and GO AND DO LIKEWISE ~

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember that the shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but I used to listen with fascination when Mother would talk to it. Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was ‘Information, Please,’ and there was nothing she did not know. ‘Information, Please’ could supply anybody’s number and the correct time.
“I learned that if I stood on a stool, I could reach the telephone. I called ‘Information, Please’ for all sorts of things. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my arithmetic, too.
“Then there was the time that Petey, our pet canary, died. I called ‘Information, Please’ and told her the sad story. She listened and then said the usual things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was unconsoled. ‘Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers, feet up, on the bottom of the cage?’ I asked.
“She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, ‘Paul, always remember that there are other worlds in which to sing.’ Somehow I felt better.
“All this took place in a small town near Seattle. Then we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. ‘Information, Please’ belonged to that old wooden box back home, and I somehow never thought of trying to call her. The memories of those childhood conversations never really left me; often in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.
“Later, when I went west to college, my plane made a stop in Seattle,” Paul continued. “I called ‘Information, Please,’ and when, miraculously, I heard that familiar voice, I said to her, ‘I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?’
“ ‘I wonder,’ she said, ‘if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls.’ I told her how often I had thought of her over the years, and I asked if I could call her again when I came back west.
“ ‘Please do,’ she said. ‘Just ask for Sally.’
“Only three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered, ‘Information,’ and I asked for Sally. ‘Are you a friend?’ the woman asked.
“ ‘Yes, a very old friend,’ I replied.
“ ‘Then I’m sorry to have to tell you. Sally has only been working part-time the last few years because she was ill. She died five weeks ago.’ But before I could hang up, she said, ‘Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Paul?’
“ ‘Yes,’ I responded.
“ ‘Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down. Here it is—I’ll read it. Tell him I still say there are other worlds in which to sing. He’ll know what I mean.’
“I thanked her and hung up,” said Paul. “I did know what Sally meant.”
Sally, the telephone operator, and Paul, the boy—the man—were in reality good Samaritans to each other.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

That was a great story! I love talks and lessons, well - the preparation, not the giving - just because I always learn so much! I'm in the primary now and it's been fun for me to prepare lessons these past couple weeks - I have learned a ton!