I was feeling deeply compassionate.
When watching the news about the recent tragedy caused by nature in the central Philippines, my heart was pounding and i felt sympathy to those who lost their loved ones, and whose houses have been smashed by the roaring “anger” of super typhoon “Haiyan”. Until now, some still keep looking for their family and relatives with the hope that they can still find them, while others hardly accept the tragic of this tsunami-like storm that swallowed all that they have, as if all have been completely robbed. But, in this typhoon-flattened village, people find hope to survive, rebuild and restore.
In the midst of this people in dire need, several “Good Samaritans” of the present day from all over the place show up offering their willing and helping hands. This reminds me of the passage in the Bible, in Luke 10:30-37, which tell us straightforward about the compassion – not in words but in action. This parable has shown the true spirit of mercy, compassion, and care; “the good Samaritans went to the man, brought him to a shelter and even took care the following days” – the good Samaritans really meant the care. At the end of verse 37, “Go and do likewise (just as what the Samaritans did)”, the parable emphasized.
I realized that there still exists an inherent caring virtue in us…not just in a few but many among us.
On the other hand, in the same passages, it also shows a couple passersby who didn’t bother to help and in fact avoided seeing the man. Sadly, in verses 31 and 32, “the priest and the Levite arrived and saw the man, yet they looked and passed by to the other side”. They never approached the man; perhaps an unspeakable indifference and show of no-concern. A “priest”, who consciously refused himself to help the people in need, and a “Levite”, who opposed by passing by on the other side, remain to be present as well in our world today. They are like the Pharisees who sometimes question with no offer of help at all. Unfortunately, there are some who even took advantage of this calamity for their own future ambition; some are coming in disguise of help but with vested interest for their own good. While good Samaritans truly sympathize with the act of genuine giving, the “Levites” and some called “Pharisees” belittle it.
Woe to them who “passed by on the other side of the road”!
In this disastrous calamity and great times of need, it is indeed appreciable the good deeds of those Samaritans no matter how small it is. Together, these helping hands will enable the victims to regain strength with new hope, and to face the world with bold courage to stand again.
With good Samaritans’ spirit, several countries respond with not just a few good and concerned men but plenty of them to sustain their help. Many people – local and foreign – express the sense of compassion to about a million Filipinos (or even more) who suffered from this devastating experience. They extend a lasting care just as the good Samaritans did spend and come back to make sure the man is now in better status. Different groups – local and foreign government contingents and domestic and international non-government organizations including churches and private entities – keep sending and pouring their assistance to physically and emotionally relieve the tears of saddened individuals and families. Relief operations are going on and restoration at the hardest hit towns are being planned with financial aids and consensus efforts. It will continue ‘til rebuilding is reached to put back the things in normal as much possible they could.
Witnessing these true and honest Samaritans (and I knew there are a lot more), my compassion grew and was elevated to a higher level with joy inside of me to see them the way I understand the term. Full of empathy, seeker of righteousness, sensitive to the needy and never expect a return, offering help without question, cheerfully and voluntarily offer a helping hand – these are but some traits of today’s good Samaritans. In my own little way, I join them by way of giving my share through a church (PMCC 4th Watch), which organize and collaborate with others to do likewise. A church whose service arm (“DALAW KALINGA”) has been immediate on the work ground assisting those adversely affected by “Haiyan” typhoon. After all, “a pure religion is the one that exhibits a real sense of charity” (James 1:27). And now I know the worth of compassion of Samaritan’s way.
Thanks to those who “go and do likewise” and will… Mabuhay! (Long live!).