A young woman was going down from a fair suburb to Nashville when she was attacked by human traffickers. They stripped her of her clothes, beat her and much worse. Eventually, she was left half dead, and her story was told in social media. A leader from The Church of Good Order happened to be browsing the same pages and, when he saw the young woman, clicked by on the other side. Then a Facebook user, when he saw the woman’s plight, clicked “like.” His cool friends approved and “liked” his page, as well. Yet another publicly pledged compassion, proclaiming how she would give and volunteer. But she was already pledged to so many good causes that she could never find time to actually do anything.
But a true neighbor heard of the woman’s plight; and when he saw her, he took pity on her. He made sure her wounds were bandaged, pouring life and redemption into the effort to restore her and others like her. The true neighbor made provision not only for the suffering woman but also for those who care for her into the future. “Look after her,” he said, “and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.”
Which of these four do you think was a neighbor to the young woman who fell into the hands of traffickers? Was it the one who could not engage in the disorderliness of a brutalized woman? Was it the one who “liked” in order to be liked? Was it the one with good intentions, but nothing more? Or was it the one who acted with true mercy?