I sometimes think our interpretation of the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible hinders our efforts to end homelessness.
This is the story of a guy—a Samaritan—who comes across a seriously injured man from an enemy tribe lying by the road, nearly dead. Instead of leaving him there to die, the Samaritan takes him in and nurses him back to health.
His compassion has been a role model for millions of people ever since. Compassionate people around the world go to their hurting neighbors, including our neighbors living on the streets, to provide food and clothing.
Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? When we see a hungry person, should we not feed him? Of course we should. That is the Good Samaritan’s response to a world filled with hurting people.
But if we are still feeding the same hungry person years later, there is a problem. Our compassion has created dependency. Instead of empowering a person, we become enablers. Read More »