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Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Essential Necessity of Proximity

Have you ever helped a stranger in distress? What happened? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1441).

The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37 : To read in entirety click here.)

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. (Luke 10:31-33).

The degree of compassion often can be determined by the degree of separation from the subject. I know two people that know no strangers-- Kunte Kente Leuallen and Marvin Sweat.  Since these persons know no strangers, they are typically full of compassion and connect with everyone – even those--if I were in their place--would consider strangers. Note in the above quoted passage, the first two along the road passed by "on the other side."  Contrast this to the Good Samaritan who – knowing no strangers – came to where the man was.

I would now like to discuss my three finches, however out of place this might seem. I have recently been staying at a villa opening into a garden. In my old location the finches were located in a side room that I seldom visited.  The blinds were drawn.  I entered only to clean their cage and feed them. In my new location they are in a cheerful spot where I see them regularly. It is remarkable to me the possibilities I now "automatically" think about to make their lives more enjoyable. When they were "out of sight, out of mind" such amenable and charitable thoughts never entered my head.  It was only after I "came to where they were" that ideas for their comfort even ever occurred to me.  Now I see them differently; perhaps it can be said, for the first time, I love them.

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