A Modern Good Samaritan

This past weekend was the second anniversary of my father’s passing.

Even though, I think about him everyday, this past weekend was more profound. I have been at peace because I know that he is in heaven, I have no doubts about that.

You might have read other blogs where I share an important experience or a lesson that I learned by his side. Today I would like to share a very good one because it shows how God’s love projects through His chosen ones.

The initial title of this blog was “Doing Good Deeds Until It Hurts,” but a good friend cited the parable of the Good Samaritan, so I felt it was a more appropriate title.

On a sunny afternoon more than 30 years ago, I was in my bedroom doing my homework. Suddenly, I heard noises from my relatives running to see something that was occurring just in front of our house. There was a young man sitting there who was obviously mentally ill. He didn’t know who he was or how he got there. Unfortunely, he was extremely dirty with clothes that had never been cleaned. The smell was unbearable and traveled almost a whole block.

I saw all the people walking and crossing to the other sidewalk trying to avoid the awful smell.  Then I saw my father who had put gloves on and a mask on his nose. Then Dad proceeded to take the ill man toward our backyard. By now my house got so infested with the foul smell, it was awful.

I watched my father take a hose, soap and proceed to pressure wash this stranger.

While I was looking at this whole situation, I was feeling conflicting emotions. On one side, I was bothered by the smell – I couldn’t believe that my dad brought this young man into our house. On the other hand, I felt bad because I couldn’t do what my dad was doing for another human being.

But also, it was sad to see the amount of people that avoided helping this sick man.

At this point I would like to share with you a fragment of the parable of the Good Samaritan:

"But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.
The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”  - Luke 10: 29-37

We all can be “good Samaritans” as demonstrated by the actions of my beloved father. We need to show our love for our neighbors with real actions as a complement to prayers.