Once again today’s daily prompt inspires thought into the readings I had today. Today I spent time again in my study of Hebrews but I also found a devotion that based it’s thoughts on the lectionary readings for today and it is an area where we are often tempted but not in the way you think.
Tempted…means to be enticed or allured to do something that is considered unwise. Today our readings tell us about taking care of our neighbor. Loving our neighbor and sharing with them the love of Jesus. How can this be something “tempted” or unwise to do. It isn’t in itself but where we are tempted is into avoiding situations that require us to care for our neighbor or walking away from loving our neighbor or refusing to share the love of Jesus with our neighbor. This is all temptation that I have no doubt we have all caved into.
When you see an accident on the side of the road, do you pull over? Help the people who are injured until help arrives? Do you make a phone call to police? Do you even think to say a prayer for those involved? Or do you glance at it and keep driving? Those people were your neighbor and you were tempted to avoid the situation. This is a perfect situation for a reflection of WWJD (what would Jesus do). Would Jesus have turned up his music and just kept on driving? Or would he have stopped and cared for the injured and prayed for the injured.
I am just as guilty. The people who are begging for food and money on the city streets are so easy to walk by and ignore. They need our help. They may use that money for drugs or alcohol, but there is always that one who needs our help and how do we know that by giving them $5.00 we won’t help turn their life around. Does it hurt to say a prayer for them or even with them? I used to live in an apartment across the street from a homeless woman who spent her nights wrapped in blankets beside a city steam grate for warmth. She rarely sat with her hand out she just sat is silent misery. I saw the joy on her face and my roommate and I shared our dinner with her because we had extra we would have thrown away. She rarely talked about anything than the funny people who would walk by her. It was a small gesture but it made her feel good that someone cared. Was I tempted to walk by and ignore her? Of course but I didn’t.
I’m not standing on a soap box to help every homeless person or stop for every accident because I know I have turned a blind eye to more than my share of them but now is the time to stop and take notice of the less fortunate. We have just come out of a season of giving when it was easy to give food to homeless and help those who were victims of fire or accidents. That is what the Christmas season is about…giving and not being tempted to ignore the less fortunate. Now we are moving into the other 11 months of the year when it isn’t so easy to be reminded of those who don’t have all the things that you may have. The giving of food baskets has stopped but the people who needed them still need food. L
Let’s stop being tempted to overlook the destitute and the injured or even the aged. Let’s be more inclined to help them for the rest of the year as well.