Reflecting on Luke 10:25-37
The trouble with Luke’s magnificent story of love of neighbor is that you can’t take it too literally. After all, serial killers like Ted Bundy have found their victims by pretending to be crippled and in need of help to their car. Roadside warnings near detention centers send a chill up the spine: do not pick up hitchhikers.
But one scorching summer day in the Utah desert 30 years ago, some travelers driving by spotted a very thin young man resting on the ground next to his bike. Something wasn’t right. He looked gaunt and weak. They circled back and asked out the window Are you okay? But he was too weak to answer. And this dad and mom, with their two children in tow, leapt from their car, wiped his face with cool water, placed him and his bike in the car, carefully gave him food and water, and drove him to the rectory of the first Catholic Church they found.
The Spanish-speaking housekeeper cried Oh Dios! and directed them to take him into the cool back bedroom. She cared for him for several days until he recovered from his extreme heat stroke and dehydration.
Where are they now, that observant family that noticed that something didn’t seem quite right and took the time to circle back? Where are the tender housekeeper and kind priest who gave him shelter and comfort?
Because, as my 22nd wedding anniversary approaches, I want to be able to thank them for saving the life of the young man who, years later, would save mine.
Have you ever experienced life-saving help from a stranger?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).