This reflection was originally posted as a Daily Devotional through the United Church of Christ on November 24, 2014.
“He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them.” – Luke 10:34a
I had a terrific idea for a November Sunday School Service Project. It was awesome. We’d gather pumpkin pie supplies – all but the eggs – and the kids would bag them up and decorate them with cute turkeys and pumpkins and it would be perfect for the Food Pantry we support because everyone loves pie.
Then I told the pastor and the administrator for the church* that’s hosted the food pantry for 30 years my wonderful idea. Well, that’s awfully nice, they said. But most of our guests don’t have ovens. Why don’t we ask our folks what they would actually need?
This is what they asked us to do: to make first aid kits – band-aids and bacitracin, soap and washcloths. On that Sunday we told the story of the Good Samaritan – and then I confessed to the kids that I had made assumptions about our neighbors’ needs. When I paused to listen, I heard an unexpected story. Our kids were able to offer them bandages, and salve, and respond to our neighbors’ actual needs, not my assumptions.
God, make us thankful people. Make us generous givers. Make us humble listeners. May we have some small part in your story of healing. Amen.
*Thanks be to God for the hospitality of the Brighton Allston (Massachusetts) Congregational Church, UCC, which hosts a food pantry, a community supper and a thrift shop.