Passing by on the other side. How many of us have done that over the years? Maybe not as dramatically as the parable that Jesus tells, but nevertheless real. Passing by on the other side is an easy way out. It is similar to saying I haven’t got time to do this, or I am not qualified, or maybe I could get sued, or better yet, I might get dirty. Indeed!
Whatever the reason, passing by on the other side is a standard. We all have done it at one time or another. We divert our eyes, we cross over to the other side of the street. We don’t want to be inconvenienced and we are not sure we want to get involved in another’s trouble.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Life Together, says that “we must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions (and needs). ” How we react to those “interruptions” will be a measure of our humanity and our value.
Murray Bodo, Franciscan Priest and Author, tells us that Life is a gift for giving away. But, we hoard it and we hold it close. We fear that giving a piece of our life would diminish us, somehow make us less of a person. Bodo continues – But, once you throw it from you and lift your spirit up, nothing you do matters quite so much as freedom from life returning again and haunting you to be someone else instead of no one. Once we have decided not to “pass on the other side”, and maybe get our hands a bit dirty, we are not the same person.
The gift of giving feeds on itself, it grows, it is contagious. Your eyesight improves, you see where using your life-gift can matter. Your heart, too, grows and motivates you to reach out, to spend life energy, to lift that person up to be part of humanity. And, in that process, you are lifted up.
God has gifted us without measure, and yet, we act like our gifts are of our own creation. The gifts that we call ours, are from God and we use them, but we cannot claim them.
Be at peace. Give your life away!
For what it is worth.