Keys to the Kingdom – by Carolyn Tucker
In the early years of our marriage, Jimmy and I were taking a motorcycle trip to see his grandmother in Anderson, Missouri. On the way, we had a flat on the back tire. There we were, stranded alongside the road (with no cell phone). We didn’t have to wait very long before the driver of a pickup stopped to help us. He and my husband loaded the bike into the truck bed and he drove us to a bike shop in Joplin. After we purchased the new tire, the man took us to a park where Jimmy put on the tire. We were soon “on the road again” because someone, who didn’t know us, took the time to care.
I don’t remember the stranger’s name, what he looked like, or what he did for a living. I believe in angels, but I don’t think this guy was one. He didn’t seem to be a priest or a religious person, but he did have a compassionate heart. It’s one thing to be “between a rock and a hard place” and call on family or friends; but it’s a whole other ballgame to have a stranger volunteer to help.
Jesus commands us to live a life of love. One day a teacher of religious law asked Him which commandment was the most important. “Jesus replied, ’The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31 NLT).
In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, a lawyer, looking for a loophole, asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered by telling a story about a traveling man that was attacked by robbers. They stole his clothes, beat him half to death, and left him to die alongside the road. Later, a priest came down the road but, when he saw the wounded man, he crossed to the other side. Next, a religious man walked up and, as soon as he saw the injured man, he avoided him too. Then a Samaritan traveling the road came upon him. He had compassion on him, applied first aid, lifted him onto his donkey, took him to an inn, and made him comfortable. The Samaritan paid the innkeeper and told him to take good care of him. In the words of Jesus, a neighbor is anyone you’re around.
Cain and Abel were brothers, which is up another level in regard to loving your neighbor. Usually, blood is thicker than water, but not in this sad case found in the Book of Genesis. Because Cain did not master his jealousy and temper, he murdered his own brother! Afterward, God asked Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” Cain responded, “I don’t know; am I my brother’s keeper/guardian?” (Wow, it’s really dumb to lie to God.)
The hit song, “Try a Little Kindness” was first recorded by Glen Campbell and released in October 1969. To drive home the parable in Luke 10:25-37, here are some of the poignant lyrics: “Don’t walk around the down and out, lend a helping hand instead of doubt. And the kindness that you show every day will help someone along their way.”
The Key: Who…me? Yes, you. You’ve got to show a little kindness and shine your light for everyone to see.