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Remember where He found you
Daniel Kiewel - 2020

As a teenager growing up in suburban Denver, I held a job downtown which often took me through some of the less attractive parts of the city.

In downtown Denver, even a quarter century ago, a lot of hardship and heartbreak is, and was often pushed into the shadows by people who would rather not notice. Too often, I was one of those blind passers-by.

As a journalist, I’m often witness to much of the same heartache I often chose not to acknowledge. There is a great deal of suffering right under our noses. Far too often, our response is apathy, ignorance, or indignation towards the problems, and those who suffer them.

Right here in our community, there are those held captive by addiction and abuse. Others live in rags on the streets and by the banks of the river; incarcerated, looking for a single ray of hope in the darkness of a prison cell; working two jobs to keep a roof over their heads and feed their children.

Yet, too often we look at them with jaded and critical eyes, forgetting that we, too were once in a darkness of our own.

Before we condemn people and their circumstances, Paul cautions us to remember where we were when Christ found us. 

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3, ESV)

Spiritually speaking, we have all been in the rags and in the gutter, orphans and in chains. And we have all been the beaten traveller passed by on the road by the “righteous.”

But just as the Samaritan did for the traveller, so Jesus did for us. He found us in the depths of our misery. Instead of passing us by, though, he stopped, compassionately tended to our wounds and offered our parched souls a drink. And instead of forcing us to carry on alone, he picked up the burden of our chains, carried them up a hill, bled and died for them on a criminal’s cross.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

He gave the homeless a home and the orphan a Father. He fed the spiritually hungry, and removed the chains of the captives. All this He did for each one of us, because we have been each one of these.

If this is how the Creator of the world chose to look upon us when we were lost, how then, can we treat the suffering of the world any differently?

So let us then, heed the words of Jesus in Luke 10:36-37.

“‘Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’ (The man) said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise.’”

Daniel Kiewel is a reporter for the Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune. He can be reached at