A two year old is hit by a van and left to die on the street. What happens next? Eighteen people walk by the bleeding child who is struggling for every breath. She gets run over a second time. She’s not nameless. Her name is Yueyue.
It reminds me of a story Jesus once told
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Reflecting on the supposed goodness of greyness
I remember once stopping for a pair of elderly ladies who had been run down on a dark night in the rain. There was not much I could do but join some locals and friends in redirecting the traffic and trying to keep the rain off them; holding the hand of one of them as we waited for the ambulance, her leg twisted at angles too ugly to describe.
Being a neighbour or not being a neighbour. What does it mean to be a neighbour? I see no shades of grey here.
Our culture snears at those who question the grey? Snear away. In the face of such tragedy I unrepentantly see black and white as to what constitutes the way of life.