This past February, my family made a very quick cross-country (like 3 days one way in the car with a 5 and 3 years old) journey to see my husband’s family. We needed to get to our destination as fast as we could. The urgency was because Matthew’s father was having surgery. We needed to get there as soon as we could.
About 4 hours in to our trip, we stopped to stretch our legs and get some lunch at a fast food restaurant. Once we were seated and eating, a young man entered the restaurant and approached an older couple who was sitting next to us. The young man was dressed nicely and was carrying something in his hand. After he finished talking with the older couple, he gently began to approach us. Not understanding at first his intention, my motherly protective guard began to perk up. The young man gently began his speech explaining that he was going to attend a friend’s wedding and wanted to look his best, but he did not know how to tie the tie he had to go with his nice shirt. He then asked my husband humbly if he knew if how to tie the tie. My husband’s face turned from concern to a big smile. He happily took the tie from his hand. There in the middle of a fast food restaurant, I watched my husband give a tutorial on how to properly tie a tie. He not only wanted to help the young man be able to tie the tie, but he wanted to teach him so that he wouldn’t have to rely on someone else the next time. After the young man gratefully thanked him, my husband returned to the booth saying how much we take for granted. The simple knowledge like how to tie a tie could make a difference to someone who did not know how. My husband could have easily brushed him off due to our time-table in our long trip. However, he not only took the time to help the young man, but he also took time to teach the young man so that he would never have to ask for help again concerning his tie.
During Jesus’ ministry, a young lawyer as Him, “who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered by telling a parable of a young man who found himself needing to help in the worst way. Read the whole story here. Two righteous men passed him by without a concern. A third man, a Samaritan, saw the young man and had compassion on him. He patched up his wounds and took him to a place where he could get better. The Samaritan not only took care of him in that moment, but found a way to help him for the future. Jesus then asked the young lawyer, “Which of these three do you think was the neighbor to him?” The answer was “he who showed mercy on him.” Jesus then commanded him to “go and do likewise.”
We are to show mercy for those who need it. We are to do this no matter how busy our life gets. My husband could have told the young man no because we were on a tight schedule. However, he did not do that. He went beyond the young man’s request and tried to help him for the future.
I challenge everyone reading this to be attentive of opportunities, no matter how big or small, that God gives you to show mercy on others. I also challenge you to look beyond the present and discover how you can impact the future for someone else.