In the early fall of 1976, homesick Panya Sawan walked the streets of Newberg, Oregon. While his feet moved his mind questioned if he made a big mistake. Yet, as much as he missed his family, the thought of returning to his Thailand home was equally painful. Would his family consider him a failure?
Panya was invited to the U.S. by his American English teacher. At the age of twenty-one he left his country to attend George Fox University. But he had no friends in this quaint Quaker town and his English was too weak to understand much of what his instructors taught.
One October day, he walked into a small bank to open an account. A woman named Mary asked him why he looked so sad. He must have sensed genuineness in her voice for he proceeded to share with her his circumstances. Then the bank worker did a most amazing thing. She invited him to her home. Mary, and her husband Peter, gave Panya his own room. This childless couple asked him to be their son. They loved him and helped him persevere through his studies.
Peter is no longer alive. Mary recently lost a leg to cancer. But once a month, Panya flies from California to stay with his 82-year-old adopted mother while he serves as a reserve Sergeant Major in the 104th Division. This Oakland policeman, husband, and father of two daughters, has not forgotten the kindness of a woman who after observing his need, reached out and helped him. Now he cares for her.
Luke 10:33,34--But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
Have you ever studied the word observant? The prefix ob is Latin, meaning “to turn toward.” The Latin suffix ant means to promote or cause an action. To be observant implies turning towards performing an action. Mary, like the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable, observed a man’s condition and took action. She didn’t just create a bank account for Panya, she opened a heart account! Be observant! God wants to use you to make a tangible difference in people’s lives! The question is—what are you seeing?
The way we treat our neighbor is the way we treat God.—Author Unknown
More people have been brought into the church by the kindness of real Christian love than by all the theological arguments in the world, and more people havebeen driven from the church by the hardness and ugliness of so-called Christianity than by all the doubts in the world.—William Barclay
©2003 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)