[Today’s guest post is from Adriana Kassner Cunningham, who blogs at Classical Quest, where she touches on fine literature and the fineness of a family campfire, the simplicity of a woodland walk and the wonder of the written word.]
On Sunday mornings I assist my husband in teaching Sunday school to a group of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade boys. We usually have about ten boys in class, but yesterday we got a surprise when the girls from the classroom next door joined us! Their teachers weren’t able to make it, so we ended up with 23 kids altogether. I love helping with this age group and I was especially happy to get to know the girls a bit.
Our lesson was on the Good Samaritan from Luke 10. My husband Joe asked for a volunteer to read the passage. A petite girl with red hair and freckles was the first to raise her hand. Joe called on her to read. I’ll call her “Red.”
Red’s voice was soft. Right from the start she struggled to sound out the words. After a few minutes I thought she might give up and let someone else take over, but she plodded on through the entire passage. The boys squirmed. Some of the kids exchanged awkward smiles with each other. There were long pauses between Red’s words and it was hard to hear most of what she read.
But it was okay.
Actually, it was more than okay — it was wonderful! I’m not sure if any of the kids picked up on what I saw, but Jesus underscored His message to me because there was a “Good Samaritan” right by Red’s side. I’ll call her “Sam.”
Sam was slight of figure with mousy brown hair and glasses. As Red leaned over her Bible, her long hair spilled over her shoulder, hiding her face and touching the page. Sam swiped her hair away with one graceful stroke. When Red stammered, Sam gave her the right word. When Red sounded out a challenging word on her own, Sam whispered, “That’s right. Good job.”
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a passage being applied as it was being read in such perfect synchronicity. My eyes leaked. Sam’s right hand was on Red’s back. Red seem to gain courage as she read on to the end. I took in those few moments with a warm, sappy grin. From my corner of the room I discretely wiped my face with a tissue. My husband sent me a knowing smile.
The Samaritan’s Love and the Love of Christ
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37.)
The story of the Good Samaritan is a story about love.
Love is kind, patient, and gentle.
It’s neither arrogant nor rude.
Love has compassion and shows mercy.
Love rushes in to assist and stays the duration. (1 Corinthians 13.)
I’m glad the girls traveled all the way from the room next door to demonstrate this for me.
[Adriana offered me this post in order to lighten my load here at the blog while I am helping my father in his recovery and move to a new home near us. She models the comfort spoken of in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Her offer prompted me to ask a few other friends for guest posts, so you can expect to see some great writing as they come in.]