Jericho Road Revisited

Meditation by Rev. Diane Rollert, 27 April 2014

Spirit of life

To live a good life, you must love your neighbour as yourself.
But who is my neighbour?

Here we are walking on Jericho Road again.

Sometimes it takes a child,
or a mother who once had no hope,
or a man struggling with his own hunger
and wounds
who reaches out and offers a meal
to another man searching for shoes in a garbage can
to remind us that we have forgotten our neighbour.
The bowl may be empty,
the cupboard may be bare,
but hunger is invisible
and we walk right past someone
who needs justice in this world,
we walk past without even knowing.
We cross to the other side of the street.

But in the most simple acts, we see the compassionate stranger
washing and bandaging the wounds of the man
lying abandoned by the side of the road.
Gently, gently he carries him to shelter,
he makes sure he is clothed and fed.

Oh if we could but see
that we need to do more than any one single act.
To love our neighbours as ourselves
we must transform the road itself.

Who is my neighbour?
He and she and they
are over there by the side of Jericho Road
standing in line at the food bank,
quietly living with the embarrassment
of not having enough,
seeking food for their children,
seeking an affordable home,
a job,
a way out of  poverty into place of dignity,
seeking a fresh start.

We have food, shelter and security
in abundance,
Yet we turn in on ourselves
and let scarcity become our faith.

Take care of this man, this woman, this child.
Take care of them and whatever you spend
I will repay you when I come back,”
says the Good Samaritan.
They are my neighbours.
They are the ones that I must love as myself.

Source of love,
I’m still searching for you
in my own heart.
This is my dream
as others have dreamed and still dream,
to transform all the Jericho Roads
into roads of compassion,
to fill the empty bowls with more than soup,
to make a different future possible,
to move from kindness and generosity
into justice.

So may it be.