Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

The Good, The Golden, and The Grace.

The Good, The Golden, and The Grace: A Modern Day Parable

She sort of garnered attention.

In the middle of our local library, nearly tipping out of the computer chair, one hand dragging on the floor, slumped in a deep sleep.

Or something.

I gave a quick look around.

Anyone else notice how lifeless this woman looked?

But everyone around her was either submerged in their work, or paying no attention while browsing the shelves.

Okay then.

Maybe I’ll notify someone at the front desk that in the 20 minutes I’ve been here, she hasn’t moved one iota out of her dangerously-close-to-hitting-the-floor slump.

She’s right where everyone who comes in can see her.

Staring, judging, snickering, head-shaking, they all pass.

Someone will take care of it.

Won’t they?

I read once in one of Malcolm Gladwell’s books about reactions to crime and the lag in response to any emergency when people are surrounded by other people. Everyone assumes someone else is already doing something about it, and so no one reports the crime or responds to cries for help.

I start to approach the desk and I hear them. It’s two guys asking one of the librarians if the woman is okay. But it’s scorn on her face as she rolls her eyes and says, “just another drunk or junkie. If she’s there at my next break I’ll have her kicked out.”

Some jokes fly, some insults are piled on.

I’m wondering what my next move will be, standing there in Books starting with the letter M, when I hear the other librarian approach.

He only takes in the awful and hard conversation for a second and leans around the counter to get a look.

Yep, she’s still there. Unmoving.

And then I watch as the combination of the good Samaritan and the golden rule mesh into the most moving response.

He grabs one of the low leather reading chairs and drags it across the whole library floor to a quiet corner in the back. He lowers the blind in the window to darken the corner. He disappears only to return with a bottle of water and he sets it on the ledge beside the chair.

Not even glancing at the others at the desk, he gently approaches the woman and taps her lightly on the hand dangling over the floor.

I find myself so relieved that she blinks and speaks softly, that I exhale. I don’t hear their conversation until just as they pass me, him leading her gently by the elbow, carrying her bag.

She’s trying to apologize, that she has a condition, and that she can’t attempt to go home until it passes but she’s so sorry….

And then he’s showing her the chair, and assisting her into it, and handing her bag to her, and showing her the water bottle, and pointing to the desk where he works.

She blinks at him and whispers thank you.

And I’ll I can hear as he finishes settling her in are the words, “Just rest, honey…”

And the words could have come from Christ himself.

“Just rest dear one.”

So much grace.

Given with a serving of dignity.

It’s the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…”

The scene stayed with me for weeks.

And it drove me to the Word.

And in Luke chapter 10 I can see the same scene play out.

Starting at verse 30 we see it. A man lying half dead in a common road and no one stops to see if he needs help.

Except one.

One decides to do what we would hope anyone would do, were it us in the ditch needing help.

Doesn’t just offer to go for help on his way into the town gates.

Doesn’t just help him out of the sun and offer him some money for if assistance happens by and then leaves him.

And certainly doesn’t lecture about the dangers of traveling alone or what preventative measures he could have taken first.

He does everything possible to make it right. Showing concern for a stranger. Showering grace. Seeing to healing and safety. Restoring dignity. A literal example of the Golden Rule.

And then an example of Christ’s act on the cross.

I always knew Christ was telling the story inside a teaching moment.

But don’t miss it. A little foreshadowing takes place.

He’s the ultimate man on the road, the good Samaritan. We are found battered and bruised. Life had tossed us aside and left us for dead. And He stops for us. Binds us up. Restores us with His grace. Heals with His Cross. And saves us from certain death.

In verse 37, when asked who the loving neighbour was, the law expert Jesus was teaching answers with, “The one who had mercy on him, of couse.”

The One who had Mercy on us asks that we be like him.

And do the same.

I know we’re pressed for time.

I know we have our own troubles.

I know some of these people seem unworthy and none of our business.

But Christ makes them our business.

“Lord, I need You to make me sensitive to Your acts of grace. Of kingdom kindness. Break my heart with what breaks Yours is no longer a lovely platitude but what drives me while I come and go!”

How else will anyone see the kingdom waiting for them if we don’t reveal it through our kindness and grace?

The grace that all started on a cross and the grace that was bought for us at great price and the grace that poured out of the tomb with the light.

How indeed.

It starts with little acts and the words, ” just rest, honey…”

I want to make everyday about the good, the golden, and the grace payed forward. How about you?


Linking up this week with the fabulous #RaRaLinkUp gals over at Kelly Balarie’s Purposeful Faith and Jennifer Dukes Lee over at #TellHisStory


  1. Christine, this story that you told, about the good Samaritan in the library will stay with me, too. I was deeply moved by it. What a beautiful picture of grace….

    • Christine Duncan

      October 20, 2015 at 1:14 PM

      Aw, thank you Dawn… I’m so glad. I have no idea if he knew he was being Jesus “with skin on” but it was such a lovely example of grace that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget it.

  2. What a lovely act of service and kindness that gentleman showed! We could all use a little bit more of this in life! <3 Beautifully written Christine!

    • Christine Duncan

      October 20, 2015 at 2:44 PM

      Thanks Lauren! Since witnessing his kindness, I know I’ve had a shift in attitude as I go out into each day… instead of wondering who else might need me (sarcastic voice), now it feels like, “I wonder who might need help today, Lord?
      It’s a much better feeling, lol.
      Have a great day, hon! Hugs.

  3. Christine, thanks for pressing through and sharing this post today. It brought tears to my eyes. We all need to be more like this person at the library, showing love and grace even when it seems risky or inconvenient. God is always telling us his love story. We just have to see it. Hugs to you, lady. xoxo

    • Christine Duncan

      October 20, 2015 at 2:49 PM

      Hugs back to ya, Abby. Your comments always feel like hugs to begin with!
      The other day someone on social media asked for people to share their “Jesus Sightings” for the day… got me thinking… would anyone be able to say that I had taken a risk and been Jesus with skin on that day? That week? Stopped me in my happy little tracks for sure.
      God’s help, I’m starting to learn what that looks like on a new level… 😀

  4. This is an extraordinary story and the post you’ve written so gripping. It both convicts and, yet, points to the beautiful opportunities we have daily to be His hands and feet. God has been dealing with me about this, too. Love it, friend!

    • Christine Duncan

      October 20, 2015 at 4:03 PM

      Karlene, thank you so much, love getting to hear from you today! You make me smile, as usual. I look forward to seeing what God has in store as we let Him lead us in acts of grace 🙂

  5. Take action! Just do it! I love it. I am always slow to take action and I’m not sure why. I always hear a little whisper saying i’m not qualified to respond. What a lie. Thank you! Stopping by from #Tellinghisstory

  6. What a sweet, sweet post, Christine. Soaking it in…

  7. What a wonderfully touching story, Christine. How convicting. I read your story and thought, “What would I have done?” I also recently read a true story where a poor woman was raped, and when she escaped her captors, she stood at the side of the road, battered, crying, and waving her hands, and for 20 minutes cars passed and no one stopped to help.

    Yes, let’s be good Samaritans and pass that grace forward.

  8. Christine,

    SO beautiful …so grace-filled…Thank you…I linked to your post in my post

    Blessings to you, my friend 🙂

  9. This is such a beautiful, touching story, Christine. Such a loving example of grace! I read you deal with depression. I pray that Jesus will hold you close to His loving heart and carry you through!

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