The second parable we looked at on Sunday was the good Samaritan. Of course you have the priest, the levite, the Samaritan and the victim. Of course the priest wanted to keep himself pure so he could enter the temple. The Levite, well who knows, perhaps he just figured it wasn’t his thing. That leaves the Samaritan, who was socially unacceptable in any case, but willing to help.
So, the question was, have you ever been forced to accept help from someone you would rather not have been associated with? Hard question, and nothing came to mind immediately. The leader couldn’t think of a thing. We started thinking along the lines of race and class though, and could imagine someone having a hard time accepting help from a black, during segregation. Another suggestion was an untouchable, if one lived in India. Or what if you fell in the street and got help from an unwashed street person? You might well have mixed feelings about it.
That leaves the victim himself. We know very little about him. He could have been a Samaritan himself, in which case it would make too much sense that the Jews passed him by and the Samaritan stopped to help. More than likely he was a Jew and therefore would not particularly want to be associated with a Samaritan. But in this case, he was in no shape to argue about it. The Samaritans were hated because they had intermarried with foreigners, though technically they came from the other 10 tribes. I suppose that makes the whole thing something of a long-standing family quarrel.
At any rate, we talked some about the race idea. Apparently one of the subplots in the recent movie, the Help, was about a white woman whose only emotional support seems to be her black maid. I haven’t seen it personally, but was told to watch for that if I do see it.
Getting back to the question of having to accept help from someone you are uncomfortable with, I did recall one possible instance. My first two cars were used, so sometimes they would break down. I recall being stranded at night one time and wondering what I should do. A man came up and insisted on trying to fix my car, whose fuel pump had quit. He managed to get it up and running again, by some miracle. Only he was smoking the whole time, so I was afraid it would catch on fire! Well, I’m not sure that’s quite the same thing. At any rate I take whatever help I get as coming from the Lord, regardless of the earthly source, so I was simply glad to be able to get home safely.