One question changes everything ... The right question changes everything.
This week, we explored The Way of the Towel as we look to live the life that Jesus lived while He walked on this Earth. The Way of the Towel is a way of love, humility, and service. Loving others because we count them more significant than ourselves and serving them as an expression of that love. Jesus, in John 13, gives us the example to follow when He washed the feet of the disciples.
However, scripture is full of examples of The Way of the Towel. Another great example is in Luke 10 - the well known story of the Good Samaritan. In the parable, we are told of a man who has been robbed and left for dead on the side of the road. He is passed by two men – a Priest and a Levite – who chose to ignore him and continue on their way. These two men should have stopped and helped; we would have expected them to because their teachings dictated it, and if they ‘practiced what they preached,’ they would have. The Samaritan – a man who had every reason in the world not to stop and help – chose to stop, help, follow up, go above and beyond what was required.
It is clear the Priest and the Levite - in that moment - were not living the way of the towel and the Samaritan did. What if the difference all started with a question?
I imagine the Priest and the Levite asked themselves a question something like this when they saw the man left for dead: What will it cost me to love this person and serve him?
The answer for them might have been:
Time. I will be late to where I am going. I will have to perform some ceremonial cleaning.
Reputation: What will they think of me if they see me in the inn with this man?
Cost: How much will it cost to care for this man?
We do not really know their answers, but we do know that whatever the answer ... their ‘cost’ was worth more to them then his life.
The Samaritan, on the other hand, must have asked a different question: What if I don’t? What will it cost this man if I don’t?
The answer for him might have been:
If not me, who? If I do not help, who will? Maybe no one.
Pain and suffering. This man may face much more pain and suffering if I do not help.
His Life. If I do not stop and help, it may cost this man his life.
Clearly the Samaritan’s question and the answer was others focused; it was born from a loving heart. And that question and the obvious importance of the answer led to this Samaritan to live The Way of the Towel.
Our call is to live The Way of the Towel, to love and serve others ... to ask the right question.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27