Cheryce Berg reflects on how fast she's walking
I’m scurrying alongside the Levite.
I must be, since I can’t keep up with the priest. And, unfortunately, I’m moving too fast to be with the Good Samaritan.
I’m good at duty. I have my list, and I’m hurrying by you as I look down at it. I have special jobs, and important roles, and I’m on a tight schedule. My robe is clean and my sandals are new, so I’m trying to keep to the well-worn middle of the road, where most of us walk. Not the dusty sides where there might be trouble.
This path I’m on is dangerous, so I must walk quickly. No looking to the right or left. I’m sorry if I missed you over there, lying stripped and beaten and half dead.
You see, I’m doing God’s work. There are orphans to consider, bags to pack for my mission trip, meals to cook for the sick, high school girls to disciple, family members to pray over, refugees to visit, friends to host, Bible study lessons to prepare.
But I have it all carefully laid out, and if I see you lying on the edge of my path, I might lose my focus. I might neglect my duty.
I steal a quick glance at you. The Holy Spirit in me cries out with the Father’s love, and I feel drawn to act with compassion. I grip my list tighter with sweaty hands and stumble, my brow furrowed.
Why do I fight Him? Why am I afraid to let the Lord hold my list, or worse—rewrite it? Why is showing unplanned mercy and compassion so messy and difficult?
And why has it been shown to me by my Lord, time and time again, when I’m so sinful and undeserving?
Sometimes, the Spirit in me wins over Important Self. As I stand in turmoil, seeing you there on the side of the road, the Good Samaritan catches up and teaches me how to love when it costs something. And surprisingly, time pauses. Joy fills the hole I’ve created by duty. A tiny piece of my list is rewritten by Love itself, by the One who loved me in the same way.
So why am I still so often scurrying along with the Levite, and not the Good Samaritan? Lord, teach me to walk slower, and to show mercy.
Luke 10:30-37English Standard Version (ESV)
30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”