Here is my attempt at a modern day Good Samaritan Parable...
He sits there everyday, holding his tattered cardboard sign, wishing for a miracle. His military-issue jacket now shows part of his elbow; his beard is stained with tobacco juice—or is that liquor? His handwritten “will work for food” banner easily shows every passer-by his failure to maintain “decency”; his missing appendage makes them avert their eyes.
Now he sits in the drizzle, believing this day might be different.
The first car approaches; a shiny blue Lexus. He hears the smooth downward glide of the automatic window. Offering a gap-toothed smile, longing for acceptance, he is instead assaulted by the ever common, “Get a job!” with a few choice curses thrown in. As the driver pulls away, throwing gravel behind him, the old vet notices the “Proud to be an American!” sticker on the rear window of the vehicle. Returning to his backpack, he lowers himself to the ground feeling throbbing phantom pains in his missing left arm. He closes his eyes and waits.
Then, more rumbling; and hope. Gathering all the pride he can muster, he rises from his pack and holds his sign to the road, his grumbling stomach giving credence to his silent pleading. The Suburban rolls to a stop; the pungent smell of exhaust nauseates him. For the second time today, the window of opportunity rolls down. This time he sees a family inside, beautiful, just the like the family he once had. The memories rush in like a mudslide. Dressed in fancy clothes (had they just been to church?) the parents offer sympathy smiles. He hears one of the children inquire about his stench, his missing forearm; he eyes the burgeoning bags of groceries in the last leather seat. The man at the wheel extends his hand, carefully avoiding contact, and gives him something with the words “God has a Wonderful Plan for your Life!” across the cover. Graciously, the vet receives the tract and watches them drive away. He stuffs the booklet in his pocket of his bag along with the old ones he has stored there. He wonders why all these people try to save his soul but forget to feed his body.
Enough for today. He has been begging a short time but the exhaustion is overwhelming. Deciding to pack up and set out for the place he calls home, he is sure his cardboard hut he is disintegrating in this never-ending drizzle. Maybe some of his luckier buddies will have turned in early as well; and maybe they will have food left to share with him. Turning from his post on the corner, he hears it, the deafening rumble of the Harley approaching. Mesmerized by the shiny chrome of the bike, he stops and watches the driver maneuver it towards him. The heavily tattooed and pierced rough rider extends his hand for a handshake. “Wanna get a bite to eat?” the motorcycle man motions towards the nearby deli. The lonely vet climbs on the open seat behind the “spiky-haired” savior, his tears and his gratefulness overflowing with the now-pouring rain.
“And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’"