This guest post was written by Tori Greer, who describes herself as a “lover of love, Jesus, tiny animals, classic literature, música, and the written and spoken word.” You can find more of her writing at https://www.theodysseyonline.com/@victoriagreer
Good Samaritan: noun. A charitable or helpful person
We’ve all heard the term “good Samaritan.” It’s thrown around in pop culture. The Good Samaritan law requires drivers to stop and help a person if they’ve witnessed a car accident. Picking up litter, running after someone who left a shopping bag at the check-out at Walmart, even holding a door open for an approaching person can all be considered acts of a good Samaritan.
The parable of the Good Samaritan comes from the chapter of Luke. It says, One day an expert on Moses’ laws came to test Jesus’ orthodoxy by asking him this question: “Teacher, what does a man need to do to live forever in heaven?” Jesus replied, “What does Moses’ law say about it?” “It says,” he replied, “that you must 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 you must love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself.” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you shall live.” The man wanted to justify his lack of love for some kinds of people, so he asked, “which neighbors?”
Which neighbors are we required to love? Which neighbors are we asked to love? Are we always going to love our neighbors, and is it okay if we don’t?
#BlackLivesMatter fights to end systematic racism and violence against the African American population. It is not only a duty as a Christian, if you are a believer, but your right as a human being to treat your neighbors with love, respect and justice.
We are asked to love all–not some. Not the ones that are easy to love. Not the ones who agree with us. Not the ones that look like us, wear the same types of clothes as us, share our favorite music artist, have the same level of education, same gender, same amount of monthly income. We are asked to love all, and to do so joyously. It is not our job as an individual to decide who deserves love and acceptance and who simply doesn’t. That is violating the basic human right to the pursuit of happiness.
In other words, you don’t necessarily have to be somebody’s best friend- but you do need to treat them with respect. Perhaps respect will be one of the first catalysts to spark a humane conversation about the rights of all–and how to figure out a solution to end excessive force and mindless violence.