Tis the season, I suppose.  Everyone is posting self-righteous admonitions to break into cars that have pets inside who, supposedly, are dying in the summer heat.  What would you do?  What would Jesus do?

       Well, apparently I’m in the minority, but I would leave the window alone.  I like to think I would have enough sympathy to have a manager call out the license plate and situation over the loudspeaker.  I might even say a prayer for the pooch.  But would I commit a crime in the promotion of animal safety?  No, I would not.

For those now heating up the tar and plucking the chickens, I would ask that you think back to the last time you saw a human in what appeared to be dire circumstances.  Did you sympathize enough to act legally, without destroying property, in the pursuit of your fellow human’s welfare?  Or did you pass by on the other side with the rest of the priests and Levites?

The trio of parables in Luke 15 are given to show the hypocrisy of those who would celebrate with one who saved a sheep to go with the other 99 back home, but would pitch a fit if some “undeserving” soul received some kindness to which he may not have been entitled.  Economies and geography may change over the centuries, brethren, but rest assured: Pharisees are not an extinct species.

I cannot detail in 300 words all the Biblical exception clauses and other considerations to the Good Samaritan principle.  Suffice it to say, I am not condemning you necessarily if you keep your wallet in your pocket when you see the next cardboard sign down on the corner.  But if we find it easier to work up sympathy for an animal than for a soul made in the image of God, we need to rethink things.

Remember also, plenty of humans are dying spiritually, and they face far more heat than any Pensacola parking lot ever offered.  Find some sympathy for them, too.

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