The story of ‘Good Samaritan,’ never gave us any identifying information about the traveler. He is stripped and left “half dead.” Thus, he cannot be identified by either dress or speech. We do not know who he is. We only know that he is in trouble and the story is about restoring the half dead traveler, assuming that he was praying for someone who was going to help him (Luke 10:25-37).
When I was in a seminary in Berkeley, I had to take a class on Evangelism. One assignment was to choose a place to meet people at the edge, and find what is or what would be the Good News for them; the task was just sitting and observing people at a certain place.
I went to a Service Center like H.O.S.T. (Helping Others Sleep Tonight), which offers services for homeless people. I met both staff and “clients” there.
While I was sitting and doing nothing but seeing the people, Godwin, who is one of the staff and works inside of the information booth, asked me why I was there. When I answered his question, a person came to me and asked what I needed, housing or a job.
It took a little while until I understood what Christopher, the man who asked me, was saying. Christopher regarded me as one of his clients. He was not the only person who thought that I was one of the clients. I thought that he was a client among them. We thought of each other as a client. When I realized that fact, I looked around and started to figure them out - who are, or who are not, the needy.
I gave up trying to find out who is who because we all could be God’s children and we are. And we could be a giver sometimes and could be a receiver anytime.
As two hours passed by, I still needed to complete my assignment; what was the good news for them? Eventually, I asked a man what he hears as good news for the needy.
He simply said, “Hope. When you are in the midst of your struggling, you want to hear about hope, and that God is with you.”
Each of us has traveled far, beginning with one step from every direction. On the way of our life journey, we have met someone who has given us a cup of fresh water and made us alive and restored!
God has already made us all neighbors in God’s love, so we can expand our hearts to care for neighbors down the street and around the world.
The Rev. Eun-Joo Myung is pastor of the Federated Methodist-Presbyterian Church.