Curiously, my post called “Who would you choose as a rescuer?” has had more attention than any other. Some of the comments are spam, but still.
One basic question is: if you need rescuing you take whoever comes first right? Well, I am not sure. What if a zombie or a vampire is the first to come by? Or let’s say you are hanging over the edge of a cliff calling for help and you hear a voice, “Let go and I’ll catch you.” “Who are you,” you ask. “God. Now let go so I can catch you.” The way I’ve heard this tale end is that the next thing the person hanging on for their life says is, “Is there anyone else up there?”
Okay. So now my tongue comes out of my cheek. But still, being rescued initiates contact, begins a relationship. Jesus told a story of a man beaten and left for dead at the side of the road. One priest and then another walk by and don’t help–these are the ones you would expect to help. Finally, a Samaritan, someone despised by the community, someone who the injured man would normally avoid rescues him. Jesus concludes that we are to be like the despised Samaritan not the religious leaders.
Sometimes I ask people to move the story to our day so that they can get a feel for it. When I ask who they would expect to help the answer is paramedics, police, a doctor. When I ask who they would not expect to stop, the answers are: a homeless person, a goth teenager, a terrorist. This generates a bit of discussion about prejudice and categorizing people. So then I ask, what if it is a person with AIDS; would you want them to help. That’s when people hesitate. They want to say, it would never happen, but they look at me and see themselves needing help and accepting it from someone they would hesitate to touch in every day life.
Accepting help is not always easy. Accepting help always establishes a connection, a debt if you will, but a relationship. So chose your rescuer wisely, or be prepared to enter a whole new community when you accept unexpected help.