Getting to be the Good Samaritan
Tap tap tap. Is this thing on? Oh good. “Why write this?” one may ask. Reading is for losers. Oh well, math is hard but I do that too.
I am going through a bit of an introspection thing of late and I have realized that I enjoy putting “pen to paper” on some of these things swirling around in my head.
So part of this introspection is trying to figure out who I really am. Am I a good person or am I the guy who thought he was big, scary, and evil enough to get a Darth Vader tattoo. Lately, I try to spin it as a redemption story. Darth Vader did the right thing in the end and got to be a force ghost. Is that so much to ask? The hard part is that I still feel like choking people from a distance sometimes. Is that bad?
There have been other introspective times where I have tried doing what good people do. One of those involved going to an orphanage in Sierra Leone to help teach a summer school for high school aged kids. I actually did it twice. Once in 2009 and again in 2011.
I’m not sure if the kids got anything out of me really. I hope so. It was an incredible experience nonetheless.
I ran across something that I wrote when I was preparing for my first trip.
So the other day I go to the Army/Navy store in Haltom City, TX to get some gear for my trip to Africa. If you have ever been to Knoxville, TN, Haltom City is like South Knoxville without all the charming architecture.
I <3 the Army/Navy store. As I was perusing the aisles, I got a box of really cheap softballs, 3 kickball/dodgeballs in various colors, a pair of shorts, a hat that says “security”, and a machete. All of these are things I desperately needed. I forgot the damned mosquito repellant that was the reason for my trip in the first place.
Anyway, cut to this morning as I am looking in the back of my truck at this assortment when a coworker (he is a stress guy) pulls up. He walks toward me and I say “I bet you thought you would never have to dodge a dodge ball before work. You were wrong.” and produced a dodge ball. The look on his face was priceless. He took it pretty well. We joked about it and parted ways. I thought that went so well I wonder how he would have taken it had I actually winged it at him.
I wonder what his expression would have been if I produced the machete instead…
So I’m preparing to go on a mission trip and that is where my head is at. Sigh. You may understand why it’s hard to tell if I am walking in the light or not.
This past Sunday was quite a full day. We got up and went to church as a family. I then took my son and one of his friends to a Rangers game. It was a good day. My daughter had asked me to help her take her Jeep top off so I needed to run by Lowes to get a torx bit set. As I was walking in I noticed out of the corner of my eye a family struggling with a flat tire. I mentally wished them well and then put my thoughts solely on torx bits.
As I was walking out, they were still messing with their tire. An older gentleman who carried himself as though he was ex-military was attempting to help them. It was quite a scene, the grandparents, their daughter and a little girl and the gentleman helper.
As I walked up I noticed that they were struggling to take off their lug nuts. The ex-military gentleman looked up at me and asked if I could give it a shot. I grabbed ahold of the lug wrench and bore down on it. I had to give a bit of effort, but it finally broke loose. The family oohed and aahed when I got the nuts to break loose because the grandfather and the gentleman helper had no luck. The grandfather even said “El Superman”. Nice.
We eventually got the car jacked up and the tire replaced. It felt good knowing that I was the strong back/weak mind that they needed to finally fix their flat. If I had steered clear of them, how long would they have struggled fruitlessly to get the tire off? How long would they have been stranded?
Now if you think I needed to get this out of me because I feel so good and pure and such an example of how the world should be, I implore you to revisit the machete story earlier in this diatribe. But when I did this, I had such a feeling of goodness and maybe a little pride (that’s not ideal) about stepping up to be the Good Samaritan in this scene instead of the Levite that it is so easy to be.