One of my friends sent me one of those blast emails of the story of an encounter in a busy airport. Salesmen in the rush to catch a plane upset an apple cart. All of the men rushed to catch the plane, but one man turned back to help the young lady. It turns out the young lady was blind, and no one was helping her retrieve the apples. She was groping blindly looking for her apples and everybody was passing her by without helping. This email reached into my soul. I have seen this email in the past, but this time it opened my eyes. I had been passing others by as well. How many times have I passed others who needed help without stopping because I was too busy or maybe just didn’t see them because I wasn’t looking?
I remember having my own airport experience from several years ago, which has stayed with me. I was on a business trip with my boss and a colleague. We were leaving the airport on our way to a meeting. As we were heading to our rental car, we passed a lady who was obviously upset. I noticed her. My soul was stirred. But I kept on walking. What could I do after all? I was in a different city. I didn’t know this lady or what was making her so upset. I could justify my passing her by with all my excuses. However, this could have been a life changing moment. It could have taught me a powerful lesson or it could have been what she needed for a better day. I’ll never know how God was going to use that moment. And I let it pass me by.
For far too long, I have been avoiding encounters with those around me who are blind and need help. For those who are actually seeking sight, I could be the help they need to find what they have lost. Jesus spoke about the blind seeing, celebration happening when the lost are found, and loving others as one loves themselves. I hope I never pass by another person who needs the help without at least offering to help. I may be turned down, but it never hurts to offer. It may be inconvenient. I may have to sacrifice something. But what difference will it make? It could be the difference between life and death. It could be a life-changing, divine appointment encounter. I’ll never know if I don’t stop to ask.
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37