Makes you think

I read this modern day 'parable' yesterday*.

The man lay in the street, bleeding, the hit and run driver gone. He needed medical help immediately but he kept pleading, "don't take me to the hospital please".

Surprised, everyone around asked "why not?"

"I'm on the staff at the hospital," he said. "It would be embarrassing for them to see me like this. They have never seen me bleeding and dirty. They know me as clean and healthy."

"But hospital is just the place for you. Can't we call an ambulance?" they answered.

"No, please don't. I took a pedestrian safety course and the instructor would criticise me for getting hit," he said.

"Who cares what the instructor thinks? You need medical attention," they said.

"Well, the administration clerk would be upset too," the man answered. "She always gets upset if anyone who's being admitted doesn't have all the details they need to fill out the records. I didn't see who hit me, and I don't know the make of car or licence number. She wouldn't understand. She's a real stickler for records. Worse than that, I don't have my medical insurance card."

"Why is that such a problem?" they asked.

"Well, they won't recognise me in this state, and they wouldn't let me in if I don't have the card. They must be sure it's not going to cost them anything. They protect the institution. Look, just pull me over to the curb. I'll make it some way. It's my fault I got hit. Why should the nurses get their clean uniforms dirty with me? They would criticise me."

With that, he pulled himself up and stumbled to the curb, trying to stem his own bleeding.

The question for us is this. The church is the place for healing for sinners and the sinned-against in this world. But will we help or criticise?

*quoted in a book called Healing Memories by David Seamands, but originally by Fred Smith of Dallas, Texas.