29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
In drive-byes, the resultant product is mayhem, suffering, death, revenge, grief and generally even more hostilities.
A major consequent of a Christian driving by the extremely poor and homeless is the same. This is real, genuine suffering we are speaking about with the eventual death of the victim. In driving by in our autos and boosted up with our Bluetooth, cell phones, and air conditioning, our experience in opulence does nothing for those who are in such desperate need.
For the woman we glimpse at shifting through the garbage cans: that listless woman, that no-account is someone’s mother. More than likely that useless bum, that man is probably a father and a military veteran.
And so then, what is it that I seek? Do I ask you to give all these people a house, to put them into your homes? No, that is not my request. My request is for the Christian to treat these people with compassion, with love and to stop: to get to know them and assess their needs as our Lord, Jesus as instructed us to do.
A drive-by performed either by bullets or by neglect produces the same effect. The only difference is that with neglect, death is longer and prolonged suffering. I pray for the day when people fail to walk or ride by us wistfully, but instead stop and know who we are as brothers and as children of God—All of whom Christians claim that they are.