Once upon a time—a long, long time ago—there was a person traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. This was a dangerous road, everyone knew it. In fact, there was a certain section of the highway which had been labeled the “Red Path” for all the blood that had been spilt there.
Surely this person had heard the stories. But they had to get to Jericho. It’s like living in Fairview and having to travel to Spanish Fork. Everyone knows that Highway 6 is a dangerous road, especially that junction from Highway 89 onto it, but what do you do? Just be careful and watchful, right? Or go the long way around, but who wants to do that?
So perhaps this person felt prepared. Perhaps they felt a disconnect from themselves and those stories—they happened to other people. It wouldn’t happen to them.
However, once they reached the Red Path, the unimaginable happened. Thieves leapt from their hiding places. They stripped this person of their raiment, beat them, robbed them, and fled, leaving them for dead.
If no one came to their rescue soon, they would die.
By chance, a holy man—a priest—approached. Surely this man would stop and rescue them.
But he didn’t. Though he saw the person lying there, bloody, naked and beaten, I imagine him looking at them in disgust—as though he were looking at roadkill—and passing them by on the far side of the road.
But what good luck! Shortly after the priest, there approached a Levite! The Levites worked in the temple, and by Jewish law, he was required to stop and help if he saw an ox or a donkey fall along the road. Surely—surely!—he would stop and rescue this poor, dying soul.
But he didn’t. I imagine him seeing this dying person, and then becoming fearful of what might become of himself should he stop and help—and besides, what would people think of him if he should be seen carrying some naked, gross person on his donkey? And he didn’t want to get blood on his clothes, that stuff never washes out. And besides, he was very important and had so many things to do, he just didn’t have time.
So he quickened his pace and passed by on the other side of the road.
The heart of this broken person then shattered. Without hope of rescue, their vision faded into darkness.
But then, there approached a Samaritan. Samaritans were hated by the Jews. Their customs were unorthodox and they were considered mongrels, unworthy, unacceptable, evil and foreordained to damnation. They were so despised, that the Jews would avoid them at all possible costs.
But the moment this Samaritan saw this bleeding, naked and dying person, they stopped without hesitation. As James E. Talmage states in Jesus the Christ, “When the Samaritan came along, he had no excuse [to pass him by], for he wanted none.”
*He wanted none.*
He went to them. He bound up their wounds, pouring in oil and wine. Wrapped them up and placed them on his own beast and carried them to the safety of an inn, where he took care of them.
The Savior, Jesus Christ, is the Good Samaritan.
He is *my* Good Samaritan.
He always rushes to my rescue. Always. He knows exactly what it’s like to be cast out, to be considered unacceptable, unworthy, even evil—because that was how His own people treated Him. He knows what it’s like to be beaten, stripped of raiment and bruised and left for dead, to feel forsaken, to receive a “no” answer to prayer, because all of these things happened to Him. He understands each one of my—and of *our* individual—sorrows and suffering perfectly, because when He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, the pain He felt was *ours*. And our pain was so much, so overwhelming, that He bled from every pore.
So when I feel alone, when my prayers and cries rend the air and, for a moment, seem to go unanswered as my mind fills with, “this is too much this time,” “this will never end,” “I can’t do this anymore,” my Savior rushes to my rescue. He has rescued me so many times that I often think, “He’s got to be so sick of me by now,” but He’s always there, never tired or weary, just my Dearest Friend, wanting to help.
He will never look for an excuse to pass by and not help us, for He wants none. We are His whole world. We are graven on the palms of His hands. [Isaiah 49:16]
There aren’t words to describe my gratitude and my love for Him. They simply don’t exist. It’s kind of like me trying to recreate the angels on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, anything I say would cheapen it. It’s something in a language of its own, something that can only be felt, and something I hope—I *hope*—I can show in the way I live my life. I just, I want to get it right. I’m so far from perfect, but I won’t stop trying to live my best life, because of Him. And I know that through Him, I can. Through Him, dreams become reality through different, winding roads, and life is as beautiful as the stars in a clear, night sky.
“He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for *our* transgressions, he was bruised for *our* iniquities: the chastisement of *our* peace was upon him; and *with his stripes we are healed*.”
— Isaiah 53:3