Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Good Sumatran

The worst thing about bible study is sometimes you learn something.
after another long day in what has been a very long week I found myself
sitting for the second night in a Bible study half paying attention while thinking
about how to start this blog.
How do I write this? what can I say to sound witty and interesting?
I am sitting quietly sitting at a table i sit at once a week in meetings facing off with
people i see every week and we are reviewing the Good Samaritan and I am thinking
there isn't enough coffee in the world to wake me up and make me care.
the room is dead air mostly, no one talks much because I don't think anyone knows what
to say. We are grown women stuffed in a room and facing off with our own insecurities and
uncertainties.. and maybe thinking about things that are not necessarily biblical.
one thought that occurs to me frequently is annoyed embarrassment at the women who sits next to me.
She is clearly suffering from a 'diminished capacity' type illness. she speaks too much, is too eager to please others and her rhythm of behavior speaks fluently of mental illness.
she adds her 2 cents, no matter how little sense they make, every opening. tells us things we
don't really care to know.

she is able to make copies from masters with a copy machine and that is a gift from God.
she is familiar with the Wesleyan quadrilateral.
she knows Patricia, the lady sitting next to her and Janine.
She has attended many Bible studies with her Pastor, pastor Charles at the first Presbyterian church where she is a member.

i think you get the idea! she often rambles with a very unsettling quickness and senselessness and we are left to simply smile and agree while we might roll our
eyes or try to avoid her.
everyone tries to avoid her.
she makes me uncomfortable, i dislike stupidity and senseless talking. it feels like a waste of my time.
i don't know what to tell her or how to talk to her.
she gets upset easily if she thinks you don't like her. that makes me not like her.

and here i sit.
and somewhere inside my head while i am trying to find the funny
thing to write about in this journal. the humorous anecdote.
the religious joke I could tell.
and the words that end it all are "the one who treated him kindly".
who was the neighbor of the injured man on the rocky path between
Jerusalem and Jericho...
the one who treated him kindly.
go and do the same.

i glance to my right at this woman who is likely in her later 40s
she is mentally challenged, but i am beginning to think that maybe
she is the disabled one, but i am certainly the mentally challenged one.
She waits eagerly for the word of God, she listens attentively and absorbs it.
she treats everyone as she herself would ask to be treated,
she reaches out to volunteer and do good for others.
She seeks approval from us, when she is told she has done a good
job she is pleased truly.. not egotistically..she doesn't tally up
her good deeds and say "i am better than you"
she says "thank you"
and she continues to do what she believes is the right thing.
She sits in the front row at church
she sings every song.
she includes all of us in her life in the only ways she can
through her stunted and sometimes confusing means of communicating.
She wants to love us and to be loved in turned.
How dare I sit there and hold my head up as a good Christian,
as a Good Samaritan when it is this woman that i shunned
so many times, that i avoided by taking different routes at church.
dodging her calls, calling her crazy.

"Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?"
"the one who treated him kindly."

Jesus said "Go and do the same."

Beware Bible Study, you might just find that you
don't like who you have become
and Shannon Hoon was no Jesus but he did say..
'Life is hard, you have to change.'

1 comment:

PacMan said...

Wow. Good food for thought!!

As if I needed another blog to read!! LOL ;-)