Golden leaves filled the gutter. I walked with my head held high breathing in deeply God's glorious autumn. Then something caught my eye, a RED leaf. There were NO other red leaves, just this one leaf lying in the very middle of the rest of the golden glory.
Into my mind came the story of the Good Samaritan from the Bible. A Jewish man was
traveling and as often happened in that time robbers ambushed him. They stole anything he had of worth and then beat him senseless.
There he lay on the road, broken and bleeding. Now it would have been pretty obvious that he was Jewish. They wore their hair a certain way, and dressed in a certain way.
Along comes one person after another that sees this man senseless and bleeding. Not ONE of them stops and does anything for or about him.
Now I recognize there is a logical reason for this. Robbers would sometimes put one of their own number out looking wounded. This they would do as bait. So someone would stop to assist the wounded person only to be ambushed. So....these passerby's were thinking of their OWN safety.
Yet I am sad to think that a Jewish Rabbi....a man of the same faith as the wounded would not only pass by but he crossed on the opposite side of the road.
Then comes a Samaritan. Now the Jews and the Samaritans had a long history of dislike for each other. I don't remember the historical reasons but trust me, they did NOT like each other AT ALL.
Yet of all the Jewish people that passed this poor man by the Samaritan stopped. He put the man on his horse and took him to an inn. He paid for the man to be nursed back to health, to be in a nice room. He even left extra money in case the man needed more.
Now you may wonder, what does a red leaf amongst a HUGE pile of golden leaves have to do with the good Samaritan? The good Samaritan was the red leaf and the people that ignored the wounded man were the golden leaves. They were probably good people, and they had a good reason to ignore him, their own safety. Yet this Samaritan, (remember Jews and Samaritans did NOT like each other), risked his own life, and used his own means to save this man's life, and health.
Now I am NOT saying, "Ok, let's pick up hitchhikers, and bring the homeless into our own homes. I AM saying, let's find ways to lift up the wounded amongst us. The amazing part about that is that when we serve others, WE are the ones most blessed.
So.....let us all be red leaves today. Let us look for ways, even small ways to love each other, and help the wounded in our midst.
I can't end this post without thanking the myriad plethora of people who have made my life so much richer, and better. Even in medical situations there are always those other patients who reach out with love and caring. Thank you to all of you that I am grateful to call family, friend and neighbor.