A couple of pieces this week that moved me.
1. from Calah Alexander: The Jew, the Samaritan, the ‘Other’, me
When I read the parable of the Good Samaritan, I’m always the Samaritan. The Jew is usually some hopelessly out-of-touch, uber-judgmental fundamentalist type whom I benevolently aid, despite the aspersions he or she is casting at my nose ring, resulting in said fundie’s eternal gratitude and repentance for being such a hypocrite until I showed them the error of their self-righteous ways.
Everyone will always be “the Other” to me, until I can accept that the neighbor God wants me to love as myself is the one whom I like the least. The one who makes me crazy. The one who makes me want to jump across the fence or into the computer or through the television so I can dish out a smack-down.
Sometimes, some horrible times, those people are the ones playing the Good Samaritan to my wounded Jew.
Maybe this is where peace starts. Not in the willingness to extend it to others, but in the willingness to accept it as a viable option. In the willingness to stop trying to prove myself right, or justified, but to just shut up already. Even if it takes 1700 words to do so.
2. from Elizabeth Duffy: “Let Everything that Breathes Praise the Lord!”
Other people’s bounteous flowers that once made me so envious–they don’t happen by accident. There is probably some woman stirring up a pitcher of miracle gro before I’m even awake. Life is not an accident. Someone always initiates and tends it.
I suppose it takes some time before the desire for life is reconciled with the responsibility it entails. Every morning my eyes flicker open out of a sense of duty, but I’m not usually happy about it until a couple of hours have passed. There’s work to be done, and I hate it, until I’ve completed it. Then I love it. But if I never do it, somehow the whole day feels like hate.