Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The Good Samaritan Revisted: A Recipe for Building Fellowship in the World via Facebook

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Good Samaritan Revisited: A Recipe for Building Fellowship in the World via Facebook

Last week, a most pressing engagement was unfortunately rescheduled in favor of a more pressing need: our water heater, just several months past its warranty expiration, had ceased functioning.

Now, I often unintentionally land in hot water, but when it’s unexpectedly dried up at its source with no tangible resources for quick replacement (especially when the dishes are stacked to the ceiling and a line is forming at the bathroom door for evening showers), it’s a miserable situation. So, fully trusting in God for wisdom and provision, I prayed and posted a double entendre on Facebook to amuse my family.

Someone I know only on Facebook responded with a silly comment, to which I added a one-sentence summary of our situation. She immediately messaged me and asked for a longer synopsis. I provided a brief sketch of our bleak financial situation and thanked her for the concern. In desperate moments, compassionate words are truly soothing. Rebekah proceeded to boil water for dishes and hair washings.

"I feel like Little House on the Prairie,” she said.

By next morning, this Facebook angel had located the lowest price for water heaters and solicited a family member to install it after he clocked out of work for the evening; would after six o’clock be convenient for us? When I offered to thank her in person, with a copy of Bryony in-hand, she postponed the suggestion  because she was fighting a virus.

As I emptied my scant savings, the bank teller, who knows of our situation, became a little chocked-up. I’m humming to the rendition of Winter Wonderland piping through the lobby’s speakers.

"It’s okay,” I told her. “It’s Christmas.”

The kind fellow who performed the installation, who had family at home waiting for him and who had to be on his feet again before dawn, stayed until ten o’clock, long enough to guarantee the glue had dried, nothing leaked, and that the new unit was properly heating water. Timothy connected well with him, so to speak, as he played both host and assistant while I hid in the attic and pounded out assignments.

With all the news stories about the dangers of the internet, online predators, identity robbers, and the like, as well the usual moaning of how texting and email have destroyed authentic communication, it’s heartening and humbling to know that social networking is just that, a means of connecting in a very rich and rewarding way with the other humans on this planet.

In this case, two people went out of their way to help me, at personal discomfort to themselves, not because they knew me or liked me, but because their characters are solid gold. I, for one, am humbled and grateful for their kindness and generosity, which made my world, not just my water, a little warmer.

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