When was the last time the battered and bruised victim of a robbery blocked your path? How often do you pass a person lying on the side of the road in the clutches of death?
I would guess, depending on where you live, this has never happened to you. You’ve not had to choose between helping the victim of a violent crime and passing on the other side of the street.
Aiding a person in this situation is the perfect example of showing love to your neighbor. Taking the time and risk to help is true sacrifice and the ultimate fulfillment of Jesus’ admonition. It is love in action.
Society has evolved dramatically since Jesus first shared the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Most of us don’t journey on foot through wilderness and expose ourselves to bands of robbers. We travel in the safety of our locked cars, or in the company of hundreds of commuters on public transportation.
Even if there is a problem, help is usually nearby and we can leave the helpless in the hands of the police or some other form of public assistance. It seems, opportunities to love our neighbor are dwindling. Our Great Society has taken care of our problems. Is there anything an individual can do to aide his neighbor anymore?
Of course there is! In fact, it has never been easier. Even as relationships continue to fragment as we isolate ourselves from one another in the comfort of our homes, there are more opportunities for us to use modern technology to love our neighbors.
Here are 3 ways to use technology to expand your neighborhood and serve more.
1. Financial support - Fundraising websites have made it convenient and secure to help people financially across the world. The days of extended correspondence and writing checks and waiting for them to clear are fading in the rear view mirror. Almost instantaneously, a need can be shared and money can be raised. It may not even be someone we know directly, but we can become a member of their tribe through a common connection. We can help a neighbor we have never met and may never know.
2. Awareness – Social tools like email, Facebook, and Twitter have simplified communicating needs to multiple people at one time. Depending on the number of contacts or “friends” you have, you can share a need with hundreds of people with one click. This opens the door for others to serve in areas they would never know of otherwise. You can love your neighbor simply by informing people about a need.
3. Adoption - There have always been an abundance of orphans needing loving homes. In the United States, we are blessed with a system that ensures these children have a safe place to stay and plenty to eat. Although less than ideal, they are at least protected and off the streets. Most children across the world don’t enjoy this luxury. Many live in filthy conditions with little food and even less love. It has never been easier to reach an orphan in a third world country and make them a part of your home. Travel is now relatively easy to destinations that were once near impossible to reach. We can work through the safety of adoption service websites and view pictures of the children in need.
As Jesus concluded the parable of the Good Samaritan he asked the lawyer, “So which of these do you think was a neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” He answered, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Today, there are so many ways to show mercy… so many ways to use technology to love our neighbors. Find one that fits you and get to work. Your community will grow and you will have neighbors all over the world.
What other ways can you use technology to show mercy on your neighbor?