Luke chapter 10, verses 25-37 brings us the parable of the Good Samaritan. Here we have a story about a well-to-do legal eagle anxious to make an impression and display his knowledge of the scriptures. But Jesus threw back the challenge and asked him who was the neighbour and the lawyer replied “the one who had mercy on him.” And Jesus told him to, “Go and do likewise.”
There is a modern version of this story. It concerned a travelling salesman who lived somewhere in the United States. He had had a busy week and was returning to his home town. He stopped his car for a break at a roadside coffee shop. As he sat drinking his coffee he heard a girl quietly crying in the next booth. He didn’t want to get involved but he was moved by her obvious distress. The girl was about 17, the same age as his own daughter. Against his better judgement he introduced himself and asked if he could help. The girl whose name was Lisa told him that she was from a broken home and had got into bad company. She was into drugs and had turned to prostitution to pay for them. Moved as he was, he just bought the girl a meal and continued his journey.
Later that evening he shared his experience with his family, how his heart had reached out to her and how he wanted to help her in some way. His family suggested that he return to that town and try to find Lisa again and offer to help. He eventually located her. He discovered that she was but a number of girls in that town in similar circumstances who were being exploited by the pimps and drug pushers. He was so moved by Lisa’s plight that he took her home to his family, and that started a ministry to try and get those girls off the streets. Out of that simple beginning over a cup of coffee that man now has three full time workers and has seen scores of girls come off the streets and get their lives back together. Some of those same girls are now part of the team. The ministry became so successful that it earned that man a Presidential citation.
He acted like a good Samaritan. He could have got together with his church fellowship and said, “we need to pray for these girls, they must be set free.” If that was all he had done nothing would have happened. We need to pray, but we need to act. We need to pray, not for the situation itself but for the courage and strength to step out in faith and do something about it according to the gifts that God has given us.
There are a million stories out there. There are thousands of girls like Lisa and there are countless examples of injustice, corruption, pornography, abuse, and everywhere there are people needing, searching, desperately trying to find a new life. We are His hands and feet. When Jesus said ‘follow me’ He meant it!