What Would Jesus Really Have Done?

There was a point in time, I think it was high school for me, where everyone went around wearing the WWJD bracelets. And it annoyed the heck out of me. I don’t know why, but it did. Maybe because majority of the people wearing the bracelets never stopped and asked “What would Jesus do?” It felt more like a fashion statement that a life statement. And at the time, I didn’t want to associate myself with Christians or wear any Christian apparel, because, it just wasn’t cool.

But today, I got a call while at the church office. And after the call, I just felt so down that I couldn’t stay in the office anymore. So I left early. (I also had some errands to run.)

A lady called who was being evicted from her house in three days and she had no place to live.
She called every single shelter in the Orange County area, but all were full and since she was alone, with no children, she wasn’t a high priority. She started calling churches because she was desperate and had no where to turn. And she asked, “Can you help me, pastor?”

I had no idea what I could do. I told her some of the shelters that we were involved in, and she said she called all of them and was on their waiting list.

I just didn’t know what to say. I gave her some numbers to other churches that may be more of an assistance to her. I apologized for my lack of help and hung up.

And I haven’t felt right since.
I couldn’t offer her to stay at the church, because I don’t think I have the authority to do that.
I didn’t think I could offer her to stay at our house.
What if she was a drug addict?
My wife stays home in the day by herself. I didn’t feel safe with her staying alone with the woman.
What if the woman didn’t want to get her life together and then we were forced to have her leave our house?

Or are these all just excuses?

Would offering our house really be the right thing to do in her moment of need
For the first time in my life, I am asking myself, what would Jesus really have done?
Should I have offered to meet up with her and help her?

You know the story of the good Samaritan?
Where the Levite and the priest just walk pass by the wounded man?
I think we’re sort of conditioned to think really bad of the Levite and the priest for not fulfilling their obvious duty of stopping by and offering assistance. It’s easy to say that they were in the wrong and frown upon them.

Well, today, I feel like the Levite and the priest.
I feel like I could’ve done more, but just walked to the other side of the street and kept on.

5 thoughts on “What Would Jesus Really Have Done?

  1. Well… If you really think about that particular Parable, the Levite and the Priest had valid reasons for them not to get involved in the situation. I mean obviously the guy was bleeding and injured. If the Levite or the Priest were to have gotten blood on them, they really couldn’t perform the functions that they are supposed to do in society. I think Jesus was trying to get at that particular notion. What is proper? I don’t want to say what you should have done or not done, since I don’t know how I would have done in the situation. I had a similar situation. Don’t knock your self about it. There is a whole world of suffering, and you should take this as a notice served. I’d say learn from this and find out what can you really do? Remember the Samaritan, he had the means, the will, and no restrictions in life. So… yeah… don’t feel too bad about it…

  2. Thanks, Hyun.
    But I would like to ask, should those things get in the way of service to God?

    Jesus was questioned about “breaking” the customs and laws when he and his disciples picked food on the Sabbath, and when he healed someone on Sabbath.

    Jesus quotes God saying “I desire mercy not sacrifice.” I can kinda relate that to ask what’s more important:
    to follow customs and the law or
    to show mercy and love for your neighbor?

    It’s a learning process. =)
    you coming to cali anytime soon?

  3. This is a weekly happening at my church and it is difficult when to know when and how to help. It is helpful to become informed about ALL the services available in your area and when needed, the surrounding areas as well. Sometimes people will need to go to another town for assistance. Sometimes we pay for a hotel room for a night or two to give time to discover options. It is not possible to help everyone and sometimes the help offered is rejected, yet I have decided that we will at least try instead of saying “sorry, call someone else.” Having someone who cares enough to make some phone calls or give a ride makes a big difference to a person in crisis.

  4. Weekly happening for us as well… and my heart breaks every time as well, especially since we’re a smaller church and you can imagine our resources would be depleted very fast if we helped everyone even in some small way. Sometimes, I’ll just get a feeling and do that… help even if it depletes the reserves, and then build them back up with special offerings. But a HUGE help for us has been working with a community organization that can do checks on folks and particularly folks who abuse help. Additionally, instead of running our own food bank and getting completely overwhelmed, we collect here and take it to this organization as well as financial contributions. Even when I feel bad when I refer folks to this organization and they say they’ve already contacted them but they can’t help, I take solace in that we’re doing what we can right now through responsible channels. Even the Samaritan couldn’t provide complete care! He had to hand it off to the innkeeper. Maybe that’s another hidden lesson there. No one can provide it all.

    Except Jesus!

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