It can’t be the time
when I turned away someone
who came knocking at my door
in the middle of the night
begging for shelter
from the descending cold.

He looked  ragged and pitiful
but I was afraid
to take him in.

If I admitted him
into my world
where could I turn
had  this stranger
turned out to be an evil spawn?

Should I be strangled
with the heartstrings
that he tugged on so urgently?

Is there a fortress
where a Samaritan can retreat
with his  charity?

Tell me please –
that one dark night
can’t be the time
when I turned you away,

This is my response to MAGPIE TALES’ picture  prompt –

and to 100 WORDS FOR GROWN-UPS’ word prompt – “…it can’t be the time”.

I am also linking with DVERSE Poets ‘ Open Link Night 66.  Please visit these pages for wonderful entries to the respective prompts.

Thank you all for coming by and reading.  🙂


  1. Beautiful poem and message. In today’s world, it can be a risk to help strangers. But when we turn our backs on our others, we are essentially turning our backs on God. It is a dilemma indeed!

  2. Lovely. I particularly like “strangled with the heartstrings”.

    Question: were you thinking of the innkeeper? Do we know what tribe he was? Because Samaritan conveys good-Samaritan-who-helped to me, so I wondered.

    1. Thank you, Delft. 🙂

      TO answer your question, I think I have had this question for a long time and the prompts made my question more concrete to me. Then, I was thinking how I would react if somebody comes knocking at my door for help. Fresh in my mind then were the stories of Saints and saintly people who opened their roof and larder to anybody who needed help. It seemed such a hard thing, especially these days. So, my short answer is, I was thinking of the Samaritan – who is really us, ordinary people – who is confronted with a situation where he has to decide whether or not, or how much or how little, he should help somebody in need. I hope I addressed your question well. 🙂

  3. It’s always a dilemma, isn’t it? Ever since the Smarts helped out a homeless man who ended up kidnapping their daughter I have wondered where to draw the line on helping others. And I don’t like having to worry about that. :/

    1. Ah, they knew the man. I wonder if they ever tired of helping people because of that? Sometimes, it is such a risk. Although what is not? Making friends takes some risk, and choosing a spouse too, most especially.

  4. ouch…yep, hard questions…and dilemna to balance the fear and play the samaritan as well….i guess that is why we have discernment, but we have to make sure it is not our prejudice talking…

    1. Thanks for mentioning discernment. I almost forgot that. Yet sometimes, things happen quickly that there was no moment to spare for some thought. I guess, on such occasions, all one can do is put his Trust in God and take a leap of faith. But that too is scary.

  5. What a stark picture of our dilemma! Sometimes we’re right to fear the stranger in need – and yet, how dare we turn them away, when we know who’s concealed among the least of these? Excellent.

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