Monday, July 22, 2013

I wish George Zimmerman had been a Good Samaritan

If you're familiar at all with the Bible, the story of the Good Samaritan is probably in your repertoire.  A guy walks along the road and some bad guys beat him up and leave him for dead.  Two different types of religious leaders see him and walk on by.  Then a guy who's not even supposed to like him stops, helps, pays for care, and checks on him the next day.  That's the nutshell.

I wish George Zimmerman had been like that.

Admittedly, the story is wearing on us as a culture and media fatigue might be just around the corner.  But I can't help but project about a decade down the road.  I think about Trayvon Martin and the little guy who is currently occupying the Child #4 position in our family (aka Spiderman).  For those catching up, we're fostering a cute little guy right now - and yes, he's African-American.

I told the Queen that a decade from now, Spiderman could have had a similar experience.  That.Freaks.Me.Out.

I don't want to get into the Martin-Zimmerman fiasco even more than I already am.  The case was tried. The verdict was rendered.  I'm grateful for a country with a system of government (albeit imperfect) that allows trials and juries and verdicts.  There's plenty of guilt, shame, regret, and pain to go around - to last a lifetime, to shape a lifetime even.  Enough on that.

What I do know is that race still matters in this country.  We haven't achieved MLK's Dream or the Apostle Paul's vision of no "Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female - because we're one in Christ" (Galatians 3.28).

And this brings me back to the Good Samaritan.  I don't know if George Zimmerman claims the Christian faith or, more importantly, has been claimed by it.  I do.  And I know people who have.  That faith demands that I recognize "no one according to the flesh" (2 Cor. 5.16).  It demands that I don't walk by the beaten up guy on the side of the road because of his race nor immediately think the worst of a 17-year old kid who looks like he might be trouble in baggy pants and a hoodie.  I'm not sure how the Good Samaritan would have shaped that fateful night, but I can't help but think that there was a better outcome than the one we have.

And I've rambled on (you should've seen this pre-edit!) to get to this point I guess:  it was an individual who stopped to help the man.  A single person.  One soul.  Not a system.  Not a conglomerate of legalities, norms, mores, social pressures, and economic realities.  A single person.

That's who stopped.  That's who helped.  That's to whom Jesus pointed as the example of a loving neighbor.  A single person.  I wish George Zimmerman had been that person.

I hope I am that person.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

1 comment:

  1. Your analogy is interesting because apparently, he kind of is one?

    Humans are so unpredictable.