Thursday, June 01, 2006

picture this...

it is raining, not hard enough to necessitate an umbrella, but hard enough that a 15 min walk will leave you slightly damp and disconcerted. rachel is walking home. she is tired. she has had a long day, and she has a long evening ahead of her. she wants to dry off, eat dinner, write little goodbye notes to each of her daycare babies, and (maybe) have a shower so that when joel picks her up from work tomorrow she won't smell like yesterday's baby pee. she stops at a corner, waiting for the light to change. a shabbily-dressed man is kitty corner to her. they make eye contact. he crosses one street, and rachel imagines a scenario wherein she is mugged, her ID is stolen, she is unable to get her vaccinations on saturday because she has no care card, and she comes down with typhoid AND malaria while in thailand. the man crosses the other street without waiting for the light, so intent is he on getting to her. 'excuse me, miss. would you have a cell phone? my car broke down a few blocks from here and i need to phone for a ride.' Street Savvy battles Good Samaritan for a split second. GS wins by a narrow margin, though SS manages to squeeze out a quasi-jocular 'just don't run off with it.' the man makes the call, thanks rachel politely, and heads off on his way. GS smirks at SS, who shrugs her shoulders and sashays off to get herself a martini.

we live in a dangerous world, and too often my fear of that world prohibits me from doing a good deed. i will be far more inhibited in thailand, but i am going there as a good samaritan. where does my trust in God to keep me safe run into the fact that He is under no obligation to rescue me from my foolish choices? how often will savvy keep me from kindness, and when will the good samaritan finally get her ass kicked?

2 comments:

Michael said...

Tough questions, good questions. I think very similar things all the time as I avoid eye contact passing strangers on a busy sidewalk. On my job, people often give me heck for parking in a loading zone, which is a perfectly legitimate thing to do, especially with a car that is commercially licenced. So yesterday, as I was pulling out of my spot, a guy nearby waved at me for my attention. I ignored him for a second, suspecting another berating, but I gave in and rolled down the passenger window with my left hand index finger (praise the Lord for power windows). Politely, he pointed out that my tire was low. I thanked him, and on my next stop I had a look; low and behold, it was DANGEROUSLY low. I potentially killed myself, all because I didn't want some dude yelling at me for parking on the diagonal yellow lines in the 'stall' in front of the door. What kind of existance is that, anyways?

alan.schram said...

You should take karate lessons. Then you can be good samaritan all the time, until someone tries to take your purse.

pow.

ass-kicking completed.