“I was passing by” is a positive and encouraging statement by a friend who continues, “when I thought of you. So, I decided to stop by for a visit.”
On the other hand, “I was passing by” can indicate our avoidance of someone. Two men who were religious (a priest and a Levite) came across an injured man lying alongside the road. For whatever reason, they didn’t want to get involved, so each of them crossed the street and “passed by on the other side.” (Luke 10:31,32)
This reminds me of an incident recently shown on the nightly news. A 35-year-old man knocked down an elderly woman on the sidewalk in broad daylight. He continued to beat her and kick her. Two men inside a business were watching. Instead of running to the woman’s aid or calling the police, they simply shut the door of their business. They didn’t want to get involved, either.
When I was in India, I was told not to give money to the children on the streets because once I gave to one, dozens more would descend on me. Another possibility was that an onlooker might beat and rob the person I had given money. I wanted to help but, as a tourist, it was clear that I could not offer a long-term solution.
Our partners in India and Rwanda, however, began providing long-term help to some of the orphans begging on their streets. At their own expense, they brought some of these kids into their own homes. That is why Apple of His Eye Charity has chosen to work with these men and their wives, sending financial resources to help them provide food, clothing, education, and the Gospel. As a result of our partnerships, your financial gifts have improved the lives of many kids. Before, they had no hope beyond a life of begging. Now, they are seeing God open door after door.