Who is my neighbour?

He was heading home after an evening at his local church prayer meeting. Where he lived wasn’t normally considered a dodgy area, but as he walked along the street that led to his house, a few young lads started to heckle him. He tried to keep walking, but they pushed him to the ground. They grabbed his wallet, kicked him a few times and left him, bruised, bleeding and more than a bit shocked on the pavement. His Bible lay beside him.

A few minutes later, a local politician was driving past in his car. He had had a long day at work, and his family was waiting for him at home – never mind the fact that there were a few emails to be attended to from his constituents. He saw the man lying beside the road. What to do? Should he stop? What about his emails? And he hadn’t eaten…

So he drove past on the other side.

It wasn’t a very busy street, but there were enough cars coming and going. But no one stopped. Not even the committee chairman from the local church who was heading home from a meeting in the church hall. His head was fried as a result of some of the minutiae that seemed to fill the time at these meetings. A cup of tea beckoned. Yes, he saw the man, but there would be someone else to take care of him. Besides which – maybe the man was just staggering home from a few drinks too many (he didn’t notice the Bible).

So he drove on home.

Thankfully it wasn’t long until someone else came along, riding his bicycle. His name was Ahmed. He’d moved from his home country of Bangladesh a few years ago. It had been a quiet evening at the Bengali restaurant where he worked, serving tables. Monday nights were usually quiet and this evening the boss had told him to head home early.

He was shocked to see the man lying on the pavement. He noticed the Bible – not that he knew a great deal about Christianity, though he had a friend in London who had started going to a church. He got off his bike. He didn’t think that the muggers who had done this might still be in the area, nor did he worry that some suspicious passerby might wonder if he was actually the one who had done this.

He picked up the Bible and helped the man to his feet. He happened to have a couple of bottles of water in his rucksack. A little for the man to drink and a little to help clean up some of the blood from that cut in his mouth.

It didn’t take too long for the police and ambulance to respond to Ahmed’s call for help.

‘Let me know how you are doing,’ said Ahmed, as the man was helped into the ambulance.

With that he picked up his bike and pedalled off.

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