Before you read this you need to know that I am a practising Christian, part of a congregation of a very small church whose members are deep-thinkers (liberal and conservative), theologians and academics, as well as those with physical or mental disabilities, we frequently disagree with each other…
I sent this email to a member who wrote a thought-provoking message about putting the parable of The Good Samaritan into the context of the present day.
Little makes me more nauseated than someone in the media announcing, “thoughts and prayers are with (insert unfortunate individual/ area/ minority group here). I have been thinking a lot about prayer and whether or not it does any good, I know it makes me feel better, like I’m actually doing something, but…The results are not necessarily there, is it because my prayer was too knee-jerk or formulaic, or superficial, or God knew it was mainly just for me???
I actually love the story of the Good Samaritan because deep-down I am a busybody/do-gooder and can’t walk past a person who looks like they need medical help- that’s something I can do.
I need to question my motives, am I really as good a person that I like to think I am? I am certainly occasionally curmudgeonly and I can’t abide time-wasting, some people interpret this as me being not a nice person (certainly not my intention), but who am I really helping here (or trying to convince…myself?)? I don’t believe brownie points get people into Heaven, I don’t believe in the place.
In _____’s talk, I was one of those who thought the majority of people would do nothing for others. I live in a NIMBY blah blah blah area, where the local rag is full of people complaining about the latest efforts to make life better for people other than them that may lower the value of their abodes (eg- a hospice for dying children in Swanbourne- omg, NIMBY!).
I am someone who believes in the inherent good of people, but this has taken quite a bashing over the years.
The “Greater Good” seems to no longer be something we all work towards.
(explanatory note- NIMBY- not in my backyard)