Jaber is new in Lagos and walking through an area he didn’t know very well, two men seemingly out of nowhere attack him, beat him up, rob him and leave him on the side of the road. Jaber was left on the floor crouched over in pain, his clothes torn and they had even stolen his shoes. He was drifting in and out of consciousness lying there on the floor hoping that someone would pass by and get him help before it was too late.
He recalled that he had passed a church while walking around and so he took some comfort that since a church was nearby, surely someone would soon come out of the church compound, or a church worker would surely pass by soon and get him the help he needed.
After what seemed like ages he couldn’t believe that no one had helped him. He was pretty sure he had seen people come out of the church compound. Jaber didn’t want to get desperate but he couldn’t believe it was taking this long to get help, he didn’t want to feel helpless but the pain was becoming unbearable. He couldn’t shout out for help because he was too weak. The pain he was feeling seemed to be getting worse and was a combination of both physical pain from the attack and pain from his heart because people were passing him by without even taking a second glance at him. Cars were driving by and not one person thought to check why this man was lying on the side of the road. Slowly tears from pain, frustration and despair rolled out of his eyes.
Just as he started to give up a man approached him, crouched down, exclaiming at what had happened to him. The man took off his own shirt and used it to cover Jaber’s exposed back while taking a towel out of his bag, sprinkled water from a bottle and used the towel to mop Jaber’s sweaty bloody face. All the while the saviour was speaking soothingly to Jaber and assuring him that everything would be okay.
After reassuring Jaber for a while he laid him back on the floor in a more comfortable position and stood up to hail a keke-maruwa (as they are called in Lagos) and asked the driver to take them to the nearest clinic. On getting to the clinic the saviour dropped him with a doctor, explained as best what he thought happened to Jaber and said that they should take care of him as he left to get more money from the ATM.
Loving your neighbor is not only about loving people that you know or people that can repay you.
As we celebrate Love this Valentine’s Day with loved ones in our lives, let us remember that we are to show love to everyone, it is not a one day affair limited to a day the world has selected. Rather we should sprinkle love on a daily basis to everyone we come across
Jaber will surely remember the man who took the time to stop and show him love and probably continue to wonder about every person who came out of the church compound who simply passed him by while lying on the side of the road in pain.
Luke 10:27 “Love your neighbor as yourself”
Story adaptation Luke 10:26 – 37 – The parable of the Samaritan.