Jesus Christ is our propitiation, the one who,
in our place, bore the righteous judgment of God!
Go and do likewise (Luke 10:37).
To keep our year text, the Story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30–37), fixed in our minds during 2015, I’ll be by sharing stories from people at Stone Hill, stories that encourage us to “go and do” like the Samaritan. The following account is from Fred Price; the “do likewise” of his story is a bit unexpected, but oh so relevant in a culture of self-sufficiency!
Listening to Pastor Matt wrap up the “Samaritan” series caused me to remember my days immediately following 9/11. My story isn’t about showing compassion but learning how to receive it.
My personal story of 9/11 is fairly well known through media coverage of our firm (Sander O’Neill) in those tough days and months after. We lost 66 people (40% of our total; 75 kids lost a parent!) along with our entire office space in NYC. Grieving and rebuilding were the focus of those who remained. We were a determined group. As our story was seen by people in the USA and internationally, we began to receive an outpouring of support and a desire to assist. Our first reaction was to tell them that, while we appreciated their concern, we were going to “circle the wagons,” rebuild our firm, and honor our lost friends in our own way. Fortunately, we had a support group that provided advice. At one early morning meeting, they all said something that still resonates with me today: “no matter how independent we wanted to be, we also needed to let people show compassion to us. Put pride and ego aside and just receive.” That seems easy to say, but it is difficult to do in the midst of crisis. Yet we learned to put aside our natural “I don’t need any help; I can do this on my own” feelings. We learned to accept the incredibly generous support being offered in so many diverse forms.
It was humbling and strengthening to receive so much from strangers. As a result, I’ve learned a lesson I share with others: it is often much easier to show compassion than to accept it when offered.