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Heroes or Neighbors?

(featured on Evangelicals for Social Action September 13, 2016)

“So what does this have to do with refugees?” I asked my kids at breakfast.

“I don’t know. Maybe the naked part?” my son offered.

“He’s naked? That’s what ‘stripped him of his clothes’ means? He’s lying naked on the road all beat up?!” my youngest daughter asked, shocked.

“Yeah, it makes me think of those people washed up on the beach. The ones trying to get away from ISIS,” my oldest daughter thought aloud.

I swallowed hard. We were reading the Good Samaritan story for clues about how God might want us to treat refugees for our Family Compassion Focus this year. This graphic imagery wasn’t on a webpage or TV news; it was in the Bible. That day we weren’t going to rush past the hard parts of the Jesus’ teaching. We were going to stop and stay there all summer, copying and memorizing every word, reciting them to each other in silly voices to make it stick, and asking each other what it really means.

It's hard to hear my kids quoting words about a person being stripped, beaten, and left half dead. But it's really happening in the world. Lord, have mercy.

It’s hard to hear my kids quoting words about a person being stripped, beaten, and left half dead. But it’s really happening in the world. Lord, have mercy.

“Why do you think the first two people just walked by the naked, bleeding, hurting man?” I continued.

“Because they thought he was a terrorist?”

“Because they’re scared. Maybe the bad guys are waiting nearby to hurt more people?”

“Because they don’t want to get dirty?”

I pushed further, “If you were driving in the dark at night and saw a body lying on the side of the road, what do you think you would do?”

“I would call 911!”

“I would run to help him to see if he was alive.”

“I would wonder if it was a trick.”

I probed deeper, because I know my own heart. If I was alone on a street with no lights and saw a body, I would be terrified. I would want to be a hero: ripping the bottom of my skirt for a tourniquet, dragging him to my car, driving to a hospital, staying with him all night in my stained clothes, then paying all his medical bills. But if I’m honest, at most, I would pull over, lock all my doors, call 911, and wait. I’m not sure I would even do that if I had young kids in the car.

“So, we’re making fun of people for not helping the man on the side of the road, but we’re not sure if we would help him ourselves? You guys, this is hard.”

“I would feel bad about not helping, but I would be… continue reading at ESA

©Evangelicals for Social Action

Photo by paulaphoto / iStockphotography.com

Related Links:

  • aimee fritz bio picA practical, encouraging, applicable resource on the refugee crisis is Seeking Refuge. Read an interview with one of the authors here.
  • We are learning about refugees for our 2016 Family Compassion Focus. Read a story about our new friends at the Refuge Coffee Co. here.

©Aimee Fritz & Family Compassion Focus, 2016.


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