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The Good Samaritan Today

Updated on February 23, 2015

On his way back to Bel Air after a pastor’s seminar, Rick, a well-known Bible expositor and pastor of a mega church was exhausted. Usually on a Saturday night Rick was in his study reviewing his sermon notes for the next morning. Not on this night; the storm had delayed his flight back from the conference and he was irritated. Nearing the corner of West 80th St. and South Sepulveda Blvd. Rick noticed something huddled in the rain ditch by the sidewalk. It appeared to be a man, but there was no car and no briefcase anywhere near.

Rick considered his options briefly. Leaving his car and going out in the rain would certainly slow him down and perhaps ruin his suit. It would also be an enormous inconvenience considering that whoever it was might need medical attention. After all, he had a sermon to give tomorrow and it had been a long day already. Besides, who would know he had even seen the man in the gutter? Accelerating through the green light, Rick continued off into the night.

Several minutes later, another car approached. This time, the occupant was Mike, an elder at a growing Evangelical church in Beverly Hills. He’d been away on business for several days and was ready to get home and see his wife. Their young daughter had a fever of 103.5 and he was ready to relieve his wife from “nurse duty.” Approaching the corner of West 80th St. and South Sepulveda Blvd., Mike noticed something huddled in a ditch by the side of the road. A man? Mike quickly thought through the situation. This was East LA, gang territory and stopping to check on the potential victim would be a great risk. Besides, he reasoned, it was raining and his wife needed him at home. He too sped off into the night

Twenty minutes later, a third car neared the corner of West 80th St. and South Sepulveda Blvd. from the opposite direction. This time it was driven by a wealthy agnostic author on his way to LAX for an appointment with his publisher on the upper east side of Manhattan. Changing lanes and slowing down for a closer view he realized it was a man. He pulled into the nearest parking space and got out.

Gathering the man up in his strong arms he half walked, half carried him around to the passenger side of the BMW. After setting him in the seat he went to the trunk and retrieved a first aid kit. Using his rudimentary first aid skills he carefully bandaged the stranger’s head and neck. There was also a nasty looking puncture wound on the man’s right shoulder.

He buckled the stranger in and dashed through the rain around to the driver’s side. Slamming the door behind him he put the car in gear, pulled back out onto the road and made a U-turn heading back towards St. Vincent medical center. Once there, he helped the man out and handed him over to a nurse who wheeled him off through a set of double doors. The man’s wallet was missing, so Roy filled out the forms as best he could without having any identifying information. Roy insisted on purchasing the best room in the hospital and whatever medical procedures were necessary, then filled out a generous check. He promised the desk nurse that he would return after his business trip and pay for anything else on the man’s tab.


1. Don’t get so caught up in your schedule that you ignore the needs of others.

2. Be generous in your care for other people both with finances and with time.

3. Don’t let a false sense of holiness keep you from reaching out to people outside your comfort zone.


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