Being A Good Samaritan
by Pierre Cornflouer, Alabaré's South East Wales Chaplain
How often have we seen something and walked on by just like the priest, in the parable that Jesus told of the Good Samaritan on the Road to Damascus? I am sure that some time in our lives we all have. We don’t stop as we may be frightened of what might happen to us. As a serving member of the armed forces I came across some very hostile and sad things that needed my help.
Quite often I thought of the story Jesus told his disciples, about the injured man on the road to Damascus. I think that when you stop in the street and help someone, or even stop at the scene of a car accident, you are doing what Jesus asked of you and what the Good Samaritan demonstrated all those years ago.
But you don’t just have to be in a street or at the scene of an accident. You could be on the end of a phone, or come across an old friend in trouble or support someone whilst having a cup of coffee in the Church.
In the Alabaré office we are doing what is commended in Luke 10:25-37 when answering the telephone to someone who has problems.
Not so long ago I was walking down my home town of Tredegar in south wales, on my way to preach in a church service. I heard someone calling my name, ‘Pierre, Pierre’. At first I did not respond to his calls. I carried on walking. I was new to the area and did not know many people. I felt that at first it sounded like my name being called but I thought, ‘who is going to call me as I am new to the area?’ But how wrong I was! It felt as if God said to me, ‘Stop Pierre! Someone needs your help.” so I did just that, and like the Good Samaritan, I stopped and turned around.
I saw a recognisable face. We finally got talking. His first words were, ‘You’re Pierre and we were on a few ships together in the Navy. The last time we saw each other was 2008, down the Falkland Islands, in the south Atlantic.’ Having served in the actual conflict in 1982, this was a great surprise.
As I looked at his face I could see the pain and suffering. He had difficulty in walking. I had a car so I decided to drive to the Church. I knew that if I was a little late the congregation would not mind. When I asked my friend if he fancied a coffee in the nearby café that was luckily open I said, “it will have to be a quick one but we can meet later if you like.’ I told him the reason why.
To my surprise he asked me if he could come to church with me. ‘Of course’ I said. He remembered me not only as a steward, serving officer and crew, but also remembered me when I started my training for my ministry. I also took the bible and prayer groups.
After the church service we began to talk and he told me of his health problems and how life has become difficult for him. Through the contacts that I have made through my time serving as Volunteer Chaplain in one of the Welsh Homes for Veterans with Alabaré I thought that I might be able to help. I prayed over this matter when on my own and then God gave me an answer.
I contacted colleagues at Alabaré, friends through the church and local councillors, and asked them if there was any help that my friend could get. After a few days I had a couple of phone calls, asking if they could help my friend. To this I said “yes”. After a few months of people helping this man, he is on the way to getting a ground floor flat with disability aids.
So even though I did not do anything physically, it was obvious that God put me there for a reason and as we know that God has not only a reason for us but also a plan. I meet with my friend quite often. We spend time in prayer and fellowship and he feels that God has helped him. He praises the Lord for his help by putting the people in contact with him. I know that God has helped my friend and I know that when I look at Luke 10:25-37 every one is that Samaritan on the road to Damascus.