An Modern Day Parable: The Good Samaritan

Now you all know the story of the Good Samaritan, right? In case you need a refresher, you can read about it in Luke 10: 29-37. But what stuck out to me was the question the Lawyer asked Christ prior to the parable being told. He asked him “Who is my neighbor.” So with that in mind, I’d like to imagine telling this story with a more modern twist, maybe one that my teenagers (and most of you) may relate to more.

First, let’s set up the characters. Instead of a “Samaritan” let’s just call them the “Others.” Maybe the “others" walk different then you do, maybe the “others” are more open with their lifestyle choices that are different then yours. The “others” may have different standards and they may NOT follow the word of wisdom as you do. Maybe those “others” believe in a different religion or political party then you. Maybe the “others” dress differently then you. The “others” just do things, well differently then you and your friends.

So my story starts with an average student, one that never caused trouble and had many great friends, someone much like you. After school he had found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and was beat up, his backpack and wallet stolen, his clothes ripped and he was left in one of the doorways to a closed, unused classroom down one of the halls in the school that doesn’t typically have a lot of traffic, especially after school.

Next in our story appears a young lady who had stayed after school talking to her popular friends and planning their next get together. She was headed to her car while SnapChatting her friends along the way. She barely noticed the young man slumped over, his clothes looked dirty maybe even had blood on them and she knew he wasn’t anyone she hung out with, so she quickly walked past him hoping he wouldn’t notice her passing by.

Then a parent visiting the school to, pick up homework for her teenager at home, walked by the injured student. In fact it was a parent of one of the student’s friends. Sure, the parent noticed the injured kid sitting in the darkened doorway, but the parent assumed the kid was simply resting and wanted to be left alone, so the parent continued on their way, not stopping.

Sadly our injured student tried to get up and walk down the hall, but felt dizzy and weak and noticed the blood and fell back down where he’d been resting thinking he just needed more time to recover OR hopefully someone would stop by and help. But he was starting to feel a little hopeless and maybe he offered a bit of prayer before closing his eyes again.

A while had past and along came one of the “OTHER” boys in the school. You know the “others”… you know the ones I explained at the beginning of my story, You know those kids not like you, the ones you avoid. In fact, this “other” boy was well known for his different choices and many of the students avoided him because they had heard rumors about his family, his beliefs and things he did outside of school. He dressed weird too and kept to himself, so that didn’t help him much either. But as he walked down the hall he immediately noticed our young friend that had been hurt and left alone in a dark doorway. He rushed to his side and shook him awake, asking his name and offering him his water bottle. He then lifted the injured boy up, putting his arm over his shoulder to help carry him through the school to the office for help. He stayed with the young man as the school nurse cleaned up his cuts and put ice on his head and his parents could be called. As the parents arrived and took the injured boy away, the “other” boy wrote down his phone number handing it to the boys mom and asked her if she or the boy to call him later that night to tell him how he was doing. The next morning, the “other” boy even came to the injured boy’s with his parents to check on how he was doing. And they of course became lifelong friends (because frankly, I made up the story I can change the ending a bit).

This “other” student did not hesitate to give of his compassion, his love and caring.  He did not care that the injured boy was popular, nor that he himself was one of the “others”. He only wanted to help. 
  
“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth…” (Moroni 7:45)

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour as thyself.  
(Matthew 22:39)

So WHO is your NEIGHBOR? 

NOTE: The above story was shared as part of a talk I recent gave in Church. But the topic I was assigned to speak on was so much more then what I have listed here. It was "The Doctrine of Inclusion" by M. Russell Ballard. If you have a chance read it. If I can ever figure out my colorful notes system that more or less relied on the Spirit guiding me, I'll write more about the rest of my talk. 

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