The One Who Showed Mercy

| March 9, 2015

After preaching the Parable of the Good Samaritan at the Gallery Church, I headed to Harlem for dinner with my girlfriend, Liz. As we climbed the stairs to exit the subway, I saw him—a homeless man, begging for change. “Can I have a dollar?” he asked passersby, who looked down at the ground instead of into his eyes, refusing to acknowledge his humanity.

I, too, looked away and continued walking. With each step, though, my feet got heavier and heavier—to the point that I could no longer continue moving forward. I heard two voices. One was the faint, defeated voice of the man asking for change. The other was my own, reciting the remnants of that morning’s sermon. I thought to myself, “You are the priest and the Levite who walked by, but ‘the one who showed him mercy.’ . . . You go, and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).

Seeds of Dehumanization

People vulnerable to exploitation are everywhere, but they are sometimes hard to see because their vulnerability often masks itself as poverty, hunger, homelessness, or something else. When we do not see them, though, we dehumanize the people God loves and values. In Generous Justice, Tim Keller…

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