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Chapter 12: The Siren's Call

I have learned that it is very easy for me to be selfish. Many things in my life can become annoying if I am not careful. When a moment inconveniences me, my first instinct is to answer the question “what’s in it for me” from my own selfish place.

A few days ago I was in a hurry. Trying to drive from point A to point B. It seemed like I hit every stop light. And then….one more thing….I hear the faint cry of a siren coming near me. What are we supposed to do when we hear a siren wailing? The law says we are to pull off the road, come to a stop, and clear the road. My selfishness (and some of those around me) wanted otherwise. I began to rationalize. A lot. How far can I proceed before I finally “have” to stop? Are they really needing to hurry that much? Maybe it’s just a fender bender. Nobody really hurt.

Jesus teaches a story in Luke 10 about the answer to the question “what must I do to inherit eternal life”. Great question. Important. It’s the core of how to solve life after death. Jesus asks the man two questions. What does the law say? How do you read it? The second question is the one that I really need to reframe. I like to rationalize things away to simply “what the law says” without remembering or valuing the why part.

Jesus follows the man’s question with a story. It is the story of the good Samaritan. The Samaritan is good because of “how he read it”. He is the one who showed mercy. It makes me remember the 2nd greatest commandment, “love your neighbor AS YOURSELF”. Those last two words don’t always come easily to me.

So I am pulled over on the side of the road. Stopping for the siren. An ambulance drives by. Lights on, trying to navigate the traffics and light. Hurrying to someone else’s trauma. The people in the ambulance are total strangers to the trauma event. They don’t know the people involved. They go because they valued mercy. They go because they loved others as themselves.

What do you think when you hear a siren? Do the words “inconvenience” come to mind? Do you hear Jesus’ teaching in Luke 10? Do you see a Samaritan racing to the rescue of a complete stranger.

Be the difference today. Ride in the ambulance for others. Show them the mercy we seek so deeply in ourselves.

James 2:12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
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