The man was at the wrong end of a long, dark tunnel. His vision was swimmy, there was a dull, deep throbbing pain at the back of his head and his thoughts were water clogged and pain-filled. As he emerged along the black tunnel, into consciousness, he could hear voices. People seemed to be talking about him.
Oh, it’s such a terrible shame.
Do you think he’s hurt badly?
Should we get someone to help?
The voices faded away.
The man fluttered his eyes open.
Everyone was gone.
He was in a ditch, his clothes were ripped and a careful touch of his head, revealed the oozy stickiness of blood.
Where did everyone go? Why did they disappear? I need HELP.
Anyone who went to Sunday school is probably familiar with this story; the parable of the Good Samaritan. A man is mugged, beaten, left for dead by the side of the road and although bleeding and semi-conscious, it seems no one wants to help him.
A religious leader steps over him, a local dignatory walks by and the man who eventually does help is the local social outcast. He bandages the man’s bloody wounds, loads him onto a donkey and then pays an innkeeper to look after him until he’s strong again.
Everyone else let the man down. When he needed them most, his friends and pillars of the community were nowhere to be seen.
Ever been let down like that?
Well ok, you’ve probably never been stepped over, after being the victim of a vicious assault, but you might know what it’s like to go through extreme circumstances and feel as though everyone’s abandoned you.
Maybe your friends forgot? Maybe it was easier to block it out and walk away? Maybe they just didn’t want to get involved? Whatever their reasons, you’ve felt the indescribable heartache of being oh-so-alone.
At some point, it’ll probably happen to us all. People let us down, and in return we let others down too. And sometimes, when it feels like everyone else has walked away, help comes from a surprising source; someone you never expected, turns out to be the rock you never thought you needed.
In times like these, there’s this great verse in Proverbs 18;
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
And that isn’t trite repeating of Bible verses, that’s the real truth. I’ve been there and I know the feeling of ‘me and God against the world’. It’s a weird place to be, but at the same time, it’s the safest place I know to be. It’s in those times that you often hear the crystal clear voice of God, the whispers of hope that can only come from heaven, the deep-down, unknockable assurance that you will be ok.
I have a great family, I know they’re always just a phone call or text away, but this is a friend even closer than that. He’s completely good, completely dependable, completely able to steer your ship through stormy waters.
When no one else seems to care, when the people you thought you could rely on have scarpered, He’s the one left behind, pouring medicine on your bloody wounds, propping you up and giving you strength to make it just one more day.