This Good Samaritan – “who is my neighbour” …
I know too much about our neighbour next door (but know nothing at all). My “private self v publicly preened image” no longer my own property. The minutiae of (both) our daily living seeping from one home to another. And then the “neighbour” I meet by chance as I go about my daily living. A moment of help needed in a moment of vulnerability – a moment when I suspend normal daily judgement. A moment of giving/receiving because we are all connected in the same time and place. When sharing intimate details is safe.
Why is that? Why the suspension of judgement for a stranger in danger, and the creeping anger for a neighbour next door? Just who is my neighbour?
I have found that the answer is not “without” but “within”. Is not about you – is not about geography or nationality or community or even intimacy, not even about those I like or not, nor about doing or not doing.
It is about who I am and NOT who you are. It is about who I am and NOT about what I can do. It is about me and NOT about you at all.
It is about who I am.
The Good Samaritan creates a one-off scenario of altruism. The Good Samaritan is of a stranger in danger. Our next door neighbour is not. In both the constant is me not you or them. I think that is why I like reading of Jesus.
He has cracked the reality of “I Am”.
But we prefer to make Jesus another “stranger in danger” rather than one who hears and sees the minutiae of my daily living. We wrap him in religion and rules: the One True God … THE God who did it for me (and you) – THE God you must believe because I (now) believe We are Church (not your temple or mosque) – believe We are Bible (because Bible trumps – allegedly – “sacred texts” of other “religions”).
Except that all this “we believe” is just more and more wrapping (that goes on and on).
And the more I live in a world that is always on, the more I think wrapping (or the absence of wrapping) is about me and not you nor Him. Just as the arguments – the debates – the ologies – the isms – the noise – the rules and tick-boxes – the constant defining of religious language to seek “inclusivity” …
That is about me not Him.
I have come to believe that “I Am” is not about a distant capitalised Deity. I am is me. Me stripped of wrapping.
I am is about me being me – not because of you being you – or him being Him – or any of the rules and wrapping. It is about me stripped naked for all to see. Just as he was stripped naked on the cross.
Except decency prevents that “imagery” being widely available nowadays.
A penis on display makes us uncomfortable. Strips our expected and appropriate “safeguarding” wrapping. Needs our sanitising. Our intervening to make Him safe. To dress Him as God should be dressed – wrapped in all the finery of Deity stuff.
So we focus on “washing away sins through blood freely given”. We wrap his nakedness and in doing so we make “it” distant – make “it” foretold – make “it” religious – make “it” a publicly preened image – make I Am “it” – unreachable (but very teachable).
Which do I choose?