Sunday, May 17, 2015

Good Samaritan Dad

"How do we change the world?  One single Act of Random Kindness at a time." 
~From the movie Evan Almighty

“On the parable of the Good Samaritan: "I imagine that the first question the priest and Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But by the very nature of his concern, the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

"And he said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,' and he says in reply from within, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed.  I cannot get up to give you anything.'  I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence."   ~Luke 11:5-8

Paul and Mary
It was 9:45 on a Saturday night and  the whole family had all gone to bed when someone started ringing the doorbell and banging on the door. I was afraid to answer it. We sure weren't expecting anyone at 9:45 at night!  In the twenty-three years that we have lived in our home we've witnessed lots of questionable and illegal activity right outside our windows like drunk drivers crashing through the fence at the dead-end, tumbling down onto the railroad tracks, SWAT teams entering the candy store across the street for a drug search, graffiti sprayed in the alley and on our garage, bikes stolen from our back yard, our car tires slashed, and teenagers smoking pot in their cars right in front of our house.  And just last week the kids and I witnessed a robbery at a neighborhood dog grooming store resulting in a violent display right on the sidewalk as we were driving to the grocery store.  So I felt justified in my fear thinking that anyone who's ringing doorbells late at night can't be up to any good.

But Paul, who is always much braver and kinder than I am, went to the door and found these two young, teenage boys who asked to use our phone.  They said that they had been playing basketball all day at the nearby playground and their ride didn't come to pick them up and they didn't know how to get home. They said that they came to our house because they knew that Mary lived here. 

Paul realized that one of the boys was Mary's friend from school.  When Mary first transferred from our Catholic parish school to the neighborhood public school, she used to complain about this boy frequently because he  bullied her so much.  It was such a problem, in fact, that I had involved the principal for help in addressing how he treated my daughter.  But over time, Mary and this boy came to be good friends.  In fact, Mary shares so many stories of him during family dinner each night, that the older brothers have all taken to teasing her about him.  

One of the things that Mary has shared with us about her friend is that his family had been evicted from their home and have recently moved to the inner city and he has to take a city bus all the way across town to school each day.  As Mary often says, there are a lot of poor kids at her school.

So Paul told the boys that he'd get dressed and take them home.  We woke Mary up and asked her if she'd like to ride along and she quickly got up and, although bleary-eyed from sleep, joyfully accompanied her father and her friend on the ride across town.  

 I feel so grateful for all of the blessings that God has showered upon my family, and my  heart aches for that young boy and his family who endure so many hardships the likes of which I have never known.  I pray that this one small act of kindness that Paul showed to these boys will long inspire them to show kindness to others; that this will be a pay-it-forward experience that brings goodness to this small part of our world in many small but loving ways.


  1. This is love in action! So beautiful...such an inspiring story and family....and Dad. I am in awe...and what a wonderful photo! You are truly blessed as are those in the "world around" you all....Thank you for sharing this example of living the Gospel life. Our Lord must be smiling....

  2. Thank you for sharing this story. You are truly blessed!

    God Bless you and your family!