The only one to stop

RockEditWhen Jesus was on earth, he spoke in parables – stories with a hidden spiritual meaning that was only revealed to some. I think it is cool that Jesus was a storyteller. One of my favourite stories is the one about the Good Samaritan, which can be found in Luke 10:25-37.

I wrote the following song /poem when I was 19, telling the story of the Good Samaritan from the perspective of the man who was injured. I came across it today when I was cleaning the house and it took on a whole new significance…

The Only One To Stop

Verse

I know I shouldn’t have come here alone

when the thieves intercept me on my way home.

From what I’ve heard, I’ll be lucky if I survive.

They steal my clothes, take my money too,

then beat me until I am black and blue

I lay on the ground, waiting for help to arrive.

Chorus

I’m helpless, and stuck on the ground.

It’s getting late and there’s no-one around.

I’m crying in pain, will anyone hear

as my body lies bleeding

and the darkness draws near.

Verse

I lift up my eyes and see a priest,

a man of religion, my chance for release.

I can’t say a thing, but my eyes speak for my heart.

But he doesn’t stop, he walks on by

He crosses the road and I want to know why

a man of religion, would dash my hopes apart.

Chorus

I’m helpless, and stuck on the ground.

It’s getting late and there’s no-one around.

I’m crying in pain, will anyone hear

as my body lies bleeding

and the darkness draws near.

Verse

Are those footsteps I hear, the sound of crunching sand?

Above my body stands a Levite man.

I beg him to stop, but he’s already passing me by.

Where’s the compassion and the care

that these holy men boast of everywhere.

With his nose upturned, he won’t even look in my eye.

Chorus

I’m helpless, and stuck on the ground.

It’s getting late and there’s no-one around.

I’m crying in pain, will anyone hear

as my body lies bleeding

and the darkness draws near.

Bridge

A Samaritan man comes along

He picks me up, his arms are strong.

Why doesn’t he just leave me there?

It doesn’t make sense that he would care.

Verse

With trembling lips I begin to cry.

He sees the affliction in my tear streaked eyes.

Why did he stop, when I would have left him to die.

Is there someone he knows? Someone up there.

A God he believes in, who taught him to care,

compelled him to stop when he saw the fear in my eyes.

Final chorus

My enemy, how could he be

the only one to take pity on me.

I want to find that man and ask him why

he was the only one to stop, while the others passed by.

* * *

I could never tell this story as well as Jesus (see Luke 10:25-37 – click here), but I hope this different perspective on the story of the Good Samaritan highlights that, as Christians, the way we treat people we find unpleasant or difficult to love can have an eternal impact.

There was a beggar woman near my work. I walked past her every day for several months, wondering what her story was. I felt sorry for her, but I was too concerned about my own comforts to ‘get involved’. I did give her a $2 coin once, thinking it might ease my guilt, but it only made me feel worse. Where do you begin with helping someone like that? Would any effort I made to help her be rejected? What would others think? I would be relieved when she wasn’t standing in her usual spot, begging, as I wouldn’t have to go through the internal turmoil of wanting to help, but not wanting to help enough.

I feel ashamed about my attitude. Especially when I’ve seen in the news that a homeless woman matching her description died recently from horrific burns. I can’t be certain it is the same woman, but it has been several weeks since she has graced her usual spot outside the building with her plastic cup in hand. I feel terrible knowing that I could have shown love to her by stopping and having that conversation that I only ever had with my conscience.

Reading back over this song, I can learn a thing or two from my 19-year-old self. I pray that, with God’s strength, next time I feel Him tugging on my heart to help someone in need, I’ll have the strength of character to be like that Samaritan man.

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