Then Jesus asked, “Which one of these three people was a real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?” The expert in the Law of Moses answered, “The one who showed pity.” Jesus said, “Go and do the same!”
Marcia and I were driving home from our daughter Sue’s home in a snowstorm last night. We had just pulled onto Hickory Street, a rural road in Spring Lake Township, when I spotted a set of headlights on the wrong side of the street. They were way down in a water-filled ditch. Sue and our grandson Brenden were following us. Seeing my hazard lights, they stopped as well. I told Marcia, “I gotta see if that driver’s OK.”
By the time I got back there Brenden was already down in the ditch talking to the guy. He wasn’t injured, but getting his car out of that steep gulley was going to be a challenge.
Hickory is not a busy street, but along came another car as we were stopping. When he saw that we trying to help the guy, he kept on going. One other car approached. Same situation: cars along the street with hazard lights flashing, a set of headlights far down in the ditch. This driver not only chose to disregard someone else’s misfortune, but he stepped on the gas! He blew through the scene with snow flying and exhaust roaring. I doubt that he could have seen my gesture, had I thought to give him one.
Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan came to mind. Nobody wants to get out of their car on a dark, cold, snowy night to check on someone in a ditch. But the simple fact is that someone could have been you or me…it was a real person, in real trouble.
I tell this story not to boast about stopping. I tell it to draw a parallel.
This is what we do at HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS.
One of our supporters told Matt and me this week, “A lot of people really admire you for what you are doing, but they wonder why you are being kind to this segment of society.”
The words of Jesus: Go and do the same.
That’s exactly what we’re doing. Just as the unfortunate driver was a real person, people in prison are human beings. Truth be told, they’ve been created in the image of God just like the rest of us living on the outside.
HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS has already touched the lives of 200 new Michigan prisoners this year. Our records show that we have now assisted at least 10% of the entire state prison population, in one way or another, since we began 19 years ago!
I’m proud of our gang, our work, and our mission.