As I looked at the picture of the lady on my friend's phone, my heart hurt. I thought it must be true what they say, the eyes are the window to your soul. Her eyes spoke volumes, she was utterly lost.
This photo was taken after her arrest, a mugshot. I wondered what brought her to that moment. When did she make the wrong choices? How on earth did she end up in front of that camera? This was someone's daughter, someone's family member, and someone's friend. It was apparent that drugs had stolen her life, for everything about her appearance displayed it. In fact, my friend had several pictures of this lady where you could physically see the progression of the effects of her addiction. Was anyone reaching out to her?
A man once asked Jesus how he could inherit eternal life. Jesus asked him what was written in the law and he answered,
You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart, with all your soul,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.
Then he, wanting to justify himself, asked Jesus- who is my neighbor? Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan.
There was a man traveling along the road who fell into the hands of thieves. They stripped him of his clothes, wounded him, and left him half dead. A priest came along and when he saw him, passed by on the other side. A Levite saw him and did the same. But a Samaritan was moved with compassion, when he saw him. He went to him, cared for his wounds, and set him on his own animal. He brought him to an inn where he took care of him. The next day when the Samaritan departed, he left enough money to take care of the wounded man and was willing to pay more when he returned, if needed. When Jesus asked the man who among the three was a neighbor to the wounded man, he answered - the one who showed mercy on him. Jesus replied, "Go and do likewise."
How often do we do as the priest and Levite when we physically walk on the other side of the street, ignoring the lost and hurting around us? Are we willing to go out of our way to show the love of God?
The 'street' could be our workplace or neighborhood.
Maybe the wounded are sitting next to us in church or across the table.
The thing is, people need Jesus. I'm a believer who believes Jesus Christ changes lives. When some only see a prostitute or a drug addict, we should see a person created in the image of God. When some only see a troubled student sitting in front of them, we should see a child created in the image of God. So many Christians search for their calling when it is right before their eyes, minister to who is in front of you.
Jesus said, "Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" (John 4:35) Focus on the field before you. We are all on the frontline of the battle. We do not have to travel to a foreign country to be a missionary for Christ, our mission field is all around us.
Are we moved with compassion as the Samaritan when we see lost, wounded souls in mugshots? My prayer is that each of us reach out and bring healing to this lost and dying world. The healing that only comes through the blood of Jesus.
Let us all do as the Bible says--