For Lack of a Good Samaritan

On June 19th, 2007 I wrote a short piece about how tending to people’s spiritual needs is actually more important than caring for them physically, observing also that such spiritual ministration is much more difficult than is mere physical care. I truly believe such is the case. A news story today, though, points again to the new testament story we call the Good Samaritan, and to the physical needs of people. As was true in those days in which Jesus physically trod Galilean soil, so today do people step over and around hurting, injured human beings. It is astonishing.

This morning on a news program, I heard a discussion of this situation by a psychiatrist (I did not catch her name) who offered the following insight:

1. By 18 years of age, the average person has observed 100,000 acts of violence, through movies, television programs and video games. We have become inured to blood and gore, and sadly, many of us have developed into hardened, unfeeling people.

2. We take our cues from others; if the crowd doesn’t respond, neither do we.

3. When we are anonymous, we respond differently than if we are known in that circle. If we chance upon such a situation and we are with a friend, we are more likely to stop and give assistance.

News article from by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press Writer

WICHITA, Kan. — As stabbing victim LaShanda Calloway lay dying on the floor of a convenience store, five shoppers, including one who stopped to take a picture of her with a cell phone, stepped over the woman, police said.

The June 23 situation, captured on the store’s surveillance video, got scant news coverage until a columnist for The Wichita Eagle disclosed the existence of the video and its contents Tuesday.

Police have refused to release the video, saying it is part of their investigation.

“It was tragic to watch,” police spokesman Gordon Bassham said Tuesday. “The fact that people were more interested in taking a picture with a cell phone and shopping for snacks rather than helping this innocent young woman is, frankly, revolting.”

The woman was stabbed during an altercation that was not part of a robbery, Bassham said. It took about two minutes for someone to call 911, he said.

Calloway, 27, died later at a hospital.

It is extremely difficult for me to imagine such a scene; I am unable to visualize anyone in a convenience store stepping over the body of a dying woman. What is wrong with us? Have we indeed become so calloused and disconnected to humanity that we have the ability to effectively block out the vision of a dying human being?

For today, I remind you of Jesus’ striking story that we call, The Good Samaritan.

” …and who is my neighbor?

And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him, and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”

Luke 10:30-35


My other blog is here. 


About Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 78 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She has been married to Jerry for 60 years. They have 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)
This entry was posted in Christian Service, Comfort, Devotionals, Fallen Man, Jesus, Love, Luke, Mercy. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to For Lack of a Good Samaritan

  1. Cathy says:

    A very sad story and a very appropriate question.

  2. Shirley says:

    Hello, Cathy. Thank you for reading here.

    Are there answers? is our nation flat “going down the tube?” Is the world gone? Some days I just can’t believe what I read and hear.

    Thank God, He has not changed! Nor will He ever!

    With hope,


  3. tommyjoe says:

    Sis. Buxton: Tom & mom here. I hope we have not grown calloused to the physical needs of our neighbors—especially if we see those who are hurting and it is in our power to help them. Mom Contino says, “It makes me think—Lord, please help us to be tenderhearted to your spirit.” Did not Jesus say to love your enemies? Bless and curse not? Good, thought-provoking post. Hope you had a good 4th. Stay cool!

  4. Shirley says:

    Hi Tom and Mom!

    We had a great 4th…but we are not cool. It is hot here, but we are adjusting.

    Love you both.

  5. helenl says:

    Hi Shirley,

    Remember how faith and works go hand in hand? We show our faith through our works. Well, we “tend to people’s spiritual needs” by caring for them physically, also. We make such a big deal out of the difference between the two, when they are really closely related.

    But then, if you beleive that the spiritual is contained in the physical, you have to minister differently. You have to figure out what’s needed at the time.

    “Oh my, situation ethics.”

    “No, ministy to fit the need.”

    You have to minister without worrying about whether or not the person you minister to is “saved” and believe God isn’t mad that you ministered without words.

    And “who is my neightbor?”

    “You don’t think Jesus meant those ‘illegal Mexicans,’ do you?”

    “No. Jesus didn’t mean that! They’re breaking the law, living off others.”

    “Jesus answering said, . . . He that shewed mercy on him 9the man in need.) Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”

    No words. Just mercy toward the man from a different country.

    “Are there answers? is our nation flat “going down the tube?” Is the world gone? Some days I just can’t believe what I read and hear.”

    Yes. Our nation needs a spiritual booster shot. But the world can be saved. You’d better believe what you read and hear. Christians have been following, instead of leading, far too long. We need actions to back up our words.

  6. Shirley says:

    Hello, Helen. Thank you for this response to my post.

    I certainly agree that we need to minister wherever we find the need. My point in my other post in which I indicated that I find it harder to minister to spiritual needs, concerned such situations in which you see no physical need, but are quite aware of a spiritual need.

    Of course, I wouldn’t inquire about someone’s spiritual condition to help me decide whether or not to help them physically. That would never enter my mind.


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