A wee reflection on the week ...

Alan Barnes was attacked in Gateshead a few weeks ago.  When the news landed on the phone of Katie Cutler, a local beautician, she felt moved to help, and so set up an online donations page, with the intention of raising £500 to buy him new carpets and curtains. So far £330,000 has been donated along with many offers of help.


It is a real life story of a Good Samaritan.  A local beautician and a disabled pensioner: two people of no high status in today’s society who come together through generous love.


I was reminded of an event many years ago.  A group of teenagers with learning disabilities were acting out the story of the Good Samaritan and were then asked: “Who is the most important person in the story.  The clue is of course in the title ‘Good Samaritan’.

Yet one boy said “The innkeeper”.

“Why the innkeeper?

“Well how would you feel if someone dumped a bloody man on your doorstep and asked you to look after him and then went away saying he would come back with money.  That takes a lot of care for someone you don’t know if they are good or bad and a lot of trust in the man that he will come back and pay you.”


Many people find the resources within to care when the need lands on their doorstep:  an aging parent, a disabled child, a terminally ill partner. We can feel we have been landed with a responsibility for which we do not have the resources ... and then discover that we do.  We discover them within.


There are times we do not need to cross over the street to show compassion, but there are times we are called to do so.  Compassion is not only for those close to us, but for the stranger and even the enemy.  That is a real challenge.


When news of a man in need landed on the phone of a young beautician, she felt moved to help even though she didn’t know him.  Love is expressed and shared, a man is raised up, and a young girl inspires us.




As we think of the innkeeper

caring for the man the Samaritan brought to his door

we pray for those for whom we care

and those who care for us.

We remember places where people work to care for others.

for paid staff and volunteers

and those for whom they care.

And we dare to pray for ourselves

that we might be tended and loved

when we are bruised and hurt.