Who is your neighbor? Who is your sister?


“If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?” (JAMES 2:15-16)

Recently a person of need started appearing on the exit ramp of the Lodge to Livernois. A tall gaunt women wanders in and out of 4 lanes. She is so thin I cannot imagine what size she might be. She is graceful with hands and arms outstretched—as in a dance—asking for money.  Her image haunts me frequently during the day: She is somebody’s daughter. Does she have any family? Whatever happened to her that she must beg on the freeway? Yet I know that in the Gospel sense she is my sister, too. What to do?

As I drive, I try to get closer to her with a small donation of money. I tell her some places that might help. I offer to take her to a shelter. She refuses all except the money. I don’t feel good about this at all. I’m thinking of all the challenges that the Good Samaritan story stirs within me. But I have no oil and no inn. She was there again last night. I’m still praying and thinking on how to be a Good Samaritan on the Lodge Exit ramp to Livernois. The Gospel challenge continues.

“Loving God,  help me…help us…keep learning tangible ways of loving our neighbors…our brothers and sisters throughout the city…”