A Good Samaritan

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 4
Luke 10:30-37; Matthew 10:42; Matthew 25:40;
Galatians 6:2; Proverbs 28:27
I remember the first good Samaritan I ever saw. I had been in this world only three or four years when my father died in great debt, and the creditors came and swept away about everything we had. My widow mother had a cow and a few things, and it was a hard struggle to keep the wolf from the door. My brother went to Greenfield and secured work in a store for his board there and went to school. It was so lonely there that he wanted me to get a place to keep him company, but I didn’t want to leave home. One cold day in November my brother came home and said he had a place for me. I said that I wouldn’t go, but after it was talked over they decided I should go. I didn’t want my brothers to know that I didn’t have the courage to go, but that night was a long one.
The next morning we started. We went up on the hill and had a last sight of the old house. We sat down there and cried. I thought that would be the last time I should ever see that old home. I cried all the way down to Greenfield. There my brother introduced me to an old man who was so old he couldn’t milk his cows and do the chores, so I was to do his errands, milk his cows and go to school. I looked at the old man and saw he was cross. I took a good look at his wife and thought she was even crosser than the old man. I stayed there an hour and it seemed like a week. I went around then to my brother and said, “I am going home.”
“What are you going home for?”
“I am homesick,” I said.
“Oh well, you will get over it in a few days.”
“I never will,” I said. “I don’t want to.”
He said, “You will get lost if you start for home now; it is getting dark.”
I was frightened then, as I was only about ten years old, and I said, “I will go tomorrow morning at daybreak.”
He took me to a shop window, where they had some jackknives and other things, and tried to divert my mind. What did I care for those old jackknives? I wanted to get back home to my mother and brothers; it seemed as if my heart was breaking.
All at once my brother said, “Dwight, there comes a man that will give you a cent.”
“How do you know he will?” I asked.
“Oh! he gives every new boy that comes to town a cent.”
I brushed away the tears, for I wouldn’t have him see me crying. I got right in the middle of the sidewalk, where he couldn’t help but see me, and kept my eyes tight upon him. I remember how that old man looked as he came tottering down the sidewalk. Oh, such a bright, cheerful, sunny face he had! When he came opposite to where I was he stopped, took my hat off, put his hand on my head, and said to my brother, “This is a new boy in town, isn’t it?”
“Yes, sir, he is; just came today.”
I watched to see if he would put his hand into his pocket. I was thinking of that cent. He began to talk to me so kindly that I forgot all about it. He told me that God had an only Son, and He sent Him down here, and wicked men killed Him, and he said He died for me. He only talked five minutes, but he took me captive. After he had given me this little talk, he put his hand in his pocket and took out a brand new cent, a copper that looked just like gold. He gave me that; I thought it was gold, and didn’t I hold it tight! I never felt so rich before or since. I don’t know what became of that cent; I have always regretted that I didn’t keep it; but I can feel the pressure of the old man’s hand on my head today. Fifty years have rolled away, and I can hear those kind words ringing yet. I never shall forget that act. He put the money at usury; that cent has cost me a great many dollars. I have never walked up the streets of this country or the old country but down into my pocket goes my hand, and I take out some money and give it to every forlorn, miserable child I see. I think how the old man lifted a load from me, and I want to lift a load from someone else.
Do you want to be like Christ? Go and find someone who has fallen, and get your arm under him, and lift him up toward heaven. The Lord will bless you in the very act. May God help us to go and do like the good Samaritan!