‘Look out for others’
While the church must become the hospital for those who are “wounded”, each person must still go beyond their fears, prejudices, insecurities and assumptions to show compassion for others.
That message was delievered by Judy Linton, head of Healing For The Soul Ministry at a special service for former inmates of Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds, their family members and friends. Prison officers were also present.
She said: “When it comes to responding compassionately there are no social, political, economic or cultural boundaries. We must be sensitive to the needs of others. At times we must even go against societal norms and enter into the world of those who have been abandoned, alienated and stigmatized.
“This includes, the incarcerated, the children of inmates and families who society have left half dead. They are wounded and hurting, and like the Samaritan, we move out of our comfort zones, bind up the wounds, and walk alongside of them.”
In her sermon at Faith Wesleyan Holiness Church, Linton shared from Luke 10: 30-35 – the story of the Good Samaritan, as she urged her listeners to get involved in the welfare of others.
She explained that the man who was robbed and left for dead was never identified by name, cultural background, race or socio-economic status, but that his life was completely changed after thieves interrupted his plans and stripped him of everything he had.
She preached: “As a result, this man experienced social isolation and rejection.
The priest saw him and passed on the other side. The Levite took a look and he too went on the other side.
“So often this is our response to those that have been labelled in our society. We refuse to get involved because of what society has allowed us to believe.
“As a result, those who have been wounded are left on the wayside half dead. We believe that getting involved will not only put us at risk, but would jeopardize our own status and alter people’s perception of us.”
Linton added: “But a certain Samaritan as he journeyed came to where he was, and when he saw him, this Samaritan put his agenda on hold. He suspended his schedule.”
The United-States based, Barbadian-born minister said that while many of us value our time and are busy with our own agendas, we must still actively engage in making a difference in each other’s lives.
The Samaritan chose to walk while he put this man on his donkey, Linton noted, adding that we too must create a supportive environment for those in need.
“We need each other; I need you, you need me. Together we can stand in love, strength and courage. We all have our differences, but the time must come when we put our differences aside and find that common bond of love and compassion.”
Linton told the gathering, especially former inmates, that although their lives might be filled with many disappointments, they could still look forward to second chances.
• To have your church featured in Altar Call, please contact Cheryl Harewood at 430-5494 or email; [email protected]