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« Don't Underestimate God | Main | Love: A Paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 »

The Good Samaritan Paraphrased

dead79.jpg A certain woman packed her kids into the passenger side of her rusty ten-year old Chevy truck, stopped to pump three gallons of gasoline into the tank, and lurched down the far right lane to the downtown concrete canyons of banks, loan offices and courtrooms. There, she fell among loan sharks, stone-faced bureaucrats and shady lawyers, who foreclosed on her mortgage, gave her the run-a-round, and finagled up-front payments and fees out of her until she had nothing left. Fighting back tears from the last encounter, she stumbled out of a glass and walnut paneled office and sank into a big leather chair in the waiting room to collect her senses. She awkwardly tried to keep the jagged rip in her dirty overcoat hidden, and almost managed to hold her frustration in check, but one tear escaped her eyes and dripped off her chin. Preoccupied, she didn’t notice that her kids were making too much noise for business offices.

About that time, a certain well-scrubbed and neatly dressed family walked by—-mom, dad and kids—-looking as though they had just stepped out of a storybook. With narrowed eyes, they steered around this obviously under-budgeted woman, making sure no one thought that they had anything in common with her. They quickly went on to their appointment to finance their new boat. As they passed by, however, the well-dressed lady did have a twinge of gratefulness that she could afford a nicer coat than the one the woman in the chair wore.

Not long afterwards, a type-A business man who strongly believed in making his own way in life, and didn’t mind expressing his opinions loud enough to be overheard came by. He glanced at the woman and registered a look of disdain. Leaning over to another person standing in line to roll over some money into another account, he said, “What’s the matter with people nowadays? They don’t want to work, they don’t want to make their kids behave, they don’t want to dress decent and they don’t have any respect anymore. They just want food stamps, ADC, welfare and grants. And we taxpayers support them.” The woman was sure that someone had shoved a white-hot knife into her heart, judging from the way she felt.

About that time, a sweet-faced lady knelt down by one of the kids and asked if he went to Sunday School. His little sister wobbled over and reached out to the lady with two grimy hands. The lady picked her up and said, “We have a class for you too! Would you like to go to Sunday School?” Then she looked over at their mother in the chair and noticed that all was not well. She said, “You look like you could use a friend. Is there anything I can do to help?”

And now you can guess why the woman and her kids ended up going with the sweet-faced lady to her church.

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