Mt. Meru and a broad grin brightened each morning. Everest, the groundskeeper, offered a happy ‘gud mornin‘ as he planted, weeded, and trimmed grass with a small machete. During our time in Tanzania to meet sponsored children, the small inn provided spectacular views of the mountain and blooming flowers.
On hot afternoons, a yellow hose accompanied Everest around the grounds as he watered flowers and satisfied his thirst as well.
Following one home visit through sloppy streets, hardened mud caked my shoes. As I beat them together to loosen the mess, Everest approached with a simple gardening tool. He pointed, then knelt, and cleaned my shoes.
Through broken English, he asked for my husband’s sneakers. The waffled sections loaded with mud required more effort. Everest disappeared and returned with a brush and the yellow hose. After removing the mud, he knelt, and washed the shoes.
Without being asked, Everest saw a need and acted.
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Luke 10: 33-35 (NIV)
Like the Samaritan, Everest changed his agenda to serve another. Mercy sprouted hands and feet.
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10: 36-37 (NIV)
Unmerited mercy is easily recognized. It’s a blast of warm spring air after cold winter days. It blows in with a smile and lingers in the soul. It’s a loving response to a hurting world. It’s bandaging wounds and cleaning shoes.
No expectations or strings attached. Language and cultural barriers cannot stop mercy.
This Easter, pause to celebrate the unmerited mercy of a quiet manger, bloody cross, and empty grave.
Go and do likewise.
Have a Blessed Easter!