If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. 2 If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. 3 Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it.
If you see your fellow Israelite’s donkeyor ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet.
God cares about people. He cares about personal belongings. God cares about us taking care of each other.
And He asks us to have each other’s back…
“Do not ignore it.”
How much importance do I ignore along the way? People, important to God. And what about the belongings they’ve lost that really matter?… their pride and dignity, their sense of purpose, their God given value in this world, their ______? (Fill in the blank.)
True confessions: I’m the person who sees someone in the grocery store and often pretends that I don’t. Out of haste, bother, indecision, … a misguided sense of what’s important, fear? (I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t (couldn’t) ignore someone’s donkey, or fallen ox — or would I? Would it just be one more hassle, one more reason to ‘look the other way’…?)
Being quiet and introverted, it’s sometimes just easier to pretend I don’t see rather than face the awkwardness. Silly, I know, and I don’t ignore all the time, but when I do it’s usually because I’m thinking about myself and not them. (I’m too busy, I don’t have anything to say… I, I, I. Or, the worse self-thinking of all: what would stopping and talking really mean to them anyway?)
But it would appear, here, that God has a different plan in mind, saying to me: “Care! Do not ignore. Don’t ignore the path I’ve put you on with and those things I want you to see on the way. Don’t ignore the person who belongs to me…I want you to help get them back on their feet. I’m asking you to help bring them back to me. Do not ignore what is important to me.”
Hmmm, now that I think about it, Lord, I wonder: Ignore… is that that root word for ignorance?
Jesus, keep reminding me: It’s not about me… It’s about you and what you care about, and you care about bringing your kids home.