But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, … Luke 10:33
I don’t just mean time to talk on the phone, to chat over coffee, or meet up for playdates. It’s more than that; do you have the emotional space to love well? Are you so stressed and consumed with your own life that you have no time or energy for anyone else? Do you have the capacity to be a good friend - to pray for someone often, to remember their concerns, to process and think through their questions?
I feel like this is very rare today. Most people are so busy, so full, so preoccupied with their own plans, ministries, and schedules. But when I look to Scripture, I am deeply convicted. We should never be too busy to serve! Think back to the story, or perhaps read it in its entirety in Luke 10. Those who passed by the Samaritan - were they not “important” people, on the way to “important” work? I’m wondering how many people I pass by because I am “on a mission” - simply too consumed with my own life to stop and help.
We do a lot of good work. Our lives are jam-packed, in fact, with projects and important events and all the things that we accomplish. But are these things interfering with our ability to stop and help someone in need? Are we too stressed, too busy, too overwhelmed, too distracted to be a true friend to the people in front of us?
Think about Jesus. The Lord of the Universe, The Savior of the World! And he had time to talk with little children, to dine with sinners, to pause and heal the crippled. I heard someone once say, “Jesus was never in a hurry.” I don’t know that we can fully confirm that! But from the overall theme of the Gospels, it does seem to be the case that when people in His path needed help, He could stop and help without acting bothered or inconvenienced.
Evaluate your schedule. Do you have the margin in your life to stop and help your neighbor? If not, stop and pray that the Lord would help you see what you may be able to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to loving your neighbor well.