On June 19th, 2007 I wrote a short piece about how tending to people’s spiritual needs is actually more important than caring for them physically, observing also that such spiritual ministration is much more difficult than is mere physical care. I truly believe such is the case. A news story today, though, points again to the new testament story we call the Good Samaritan, and to the physical needs of people. As was true in those days in which Jesus physically trod Galilean soil, so today do people step over and around hurting, injured human beings. It is astonishing.
This morning on a news program, I heard a discussion of this situation by a psychiatrist (I did not catch her name) who offered the following insight:
1. By 18 years of age, the average person has observed 100,000 acts of violence, through movies, television programs and video games. We have become inured to blood and gore, and sadly, many of us have developed into hardened, unfeeling people.
2. We take our cues from others; if the crowd doesn’t respond, neither do we.
3. When we are anonymous, we respond differently than if we are known in that circle. If we chance upon such a situation and we are with a friend, we are more likely to stop and give assistance.
News article from Fox.com by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press Writer
WICHITA, Kan. — As stabbing victim LaShanda Calloway lay dying on the floor of a convenience store, five shoppers, including one who stopped to take a picture of her with a cell phone, stepped over the woman, police said.
The June 23 situation, captured on the store’s surveillance video, got scant news coverage until a columnist for The Wichita Eagle disclosed the existence of the video and its contents Tuesday.
Police have refused to release the video, saying it is part of their investigation.
“It was tragic to watch,” police spokesman Gordon Bassham said Tuesday. “The fact that people were more interested in taking a picture with a cell phone and shopping for snacks rather than helping this innocent young woman is, frankly, revolting.”
The woman was stabbed during an altercation that was not part of a robbery, Bassham said. It took about two minutes for someone to call 911, he said.
Calloway, 27, died later at a hospital.
It is extremely difficult for me to imagine such a scene; I am unable to visualize anyone in a convenience store stepping over the body of a dying woman. What is wrong with us? Have we indeed become so calloused and disconnected to humanity that we have the ability to effectively block out the vision of a dying human being?
For today, I remind you of Jesus’ striking story that we call, The Good Samaritan.
” …and who is my neighbor?
And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him, and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”
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