“And who is my neighbor?” That’s the question the scholar asked Jesus in the Gospel parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37) And that’s the question I think we all must ask ourselves every day. Who is the “neighbor” today who needs my help? Is it a coworker who I don’t particularly like, who’s annoying, but who looks like he or she could use some cheering up? Is it the family member living alone in a senior center who I haven’t seen in ages? Is it a former friend from whom I have turned away who is waiting for me to forgive? Is it the person who’s different from me – who has a different skin color, religion, nationality or social status – but needs a helping hand? For the prophet Jonah, it was the sinners in Nineveh he was called by God to warn to repent; in my new book, The Runaway Prophet based on the Book of Jonah, the main character Rory Justice is likewise called by his retired FBI father to go out and help the people in Las Vegas…people totally unlike him…prostitutes, addicts, gang members and more. Of course he doesn’t want to go. I wouldn’t want to go either. Sometimes it’s hard to look beyond the neighbors we regularly see, we wish to see – to really look at the ones we don’t want to see – the poor girl or guy of a different skin color in tattered clothes begging for help in the street. It’s so much easier to keep to ourselves, to walk the other way, like the priest and Levite in the parable did, like Jonah and Rory did, like we all do at times. But you may be the only face of God someone sees today, the only Bible passage someone “reads” today. Today I pray God will open my eyes and help me be less judgmental and more compassionate when it comes to helping others, to truly be a “good Samaritan.” I pray I can love the “neighbor” I least want to love.