The Commerce Journal

September 14, 2012

Good Samaritan nowhere to be found as citizen changed tire

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — I was listening to my cd on my way to work Monday afternoon when I heard a rumbling in my car. I turned off my cd and the sound became louder. It soon became hard to steer so I had to pull over to see what was happening to my car.

I pulled into the shoulder on 224 and got out to see what had happened. Sure enough, my front drivers side tire was flat. “Great,” I thought. “Guess what I get to spend my paycheck on this time.”

I’ve had to change a few tires in the past, and my dad showed me as a kid how to take care of a car, so I didn’t need anyone to pull over to try and help me. And guess what? No one did.

In the 20 or so minutes it took me to crank the excruciatingly slow jack on my car, I had at least 30 cars pass, none slowed down to see if they could be of assistance or offer condolences for my tire. Nope, they all sped right by me, never slowing down or anything.

One car almost ran me over. He came two feet from hitting me. And half my car was off the shoulder and into the grass, so he was into the shoulder by a tire. The gust it created almost knocked me down to the ground.

This is East Texas. This is Hunt County. This is the belt buckle of the ‘Bible belt’ and not a soul stopped to help me. Not one. Having a flat tire upset me. Having no one stop to offer any help to a fellow human being was disheartening.

A few weeks ago, my pastor at C3 preached a sermon over Matthew 20:29-34. We’ve been in Matthew for a few years because he preaches through a book in what is called exegetical preaching, which I like because it makes you preach over the hard teachings of the Bible and not just on what you are comfortable with. (That’s another article for another day)

But in this passage, Jesus is walking to Jerusalem, where He knows he is about to take upon the sins of His people. Very weighty stuff. And here He is walking to the culmination of what His ministry is all about, when He hears the screams of two blind men, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The gread crowd that followed Him told the blind men to be quiet, because Jesus would be too busy to help the likes of two blind men. But what did Jesus do? He stopped. He stopped and asked what He could do for them. He embraced the interruptions in His life and used them for God’s glory.

I say this, knowing that there have been times that I have not stopped to help, and maybe just offered a short prayer for them. Then I am reminded of James 2:15-17, and I need to practice what I preach. In those  verses, James says that if you simply say to someone, be healed or be filled with food, what good is that if you do not meet their physical needs?

There are people in need everywhere. Please don’t be too busy to miss an opportunity to serve.