Due to severe storms yesterday afternoon, so much so that rear windows
of many cars in the college parking lot were shattered (but thankfully not mine), consider this
my belated Thursday posting.

Last night was the dress rehearsal for our summer staged reading of The Laramie Project. I’ve read
the play before and it remains such a raw and painful look at a hate
crime committed against Matthew Shepard. For those unfamiliar with the
story, Matthew was a 21 year old homosexual student at the University
of Wyoming – Laramie, who was beaten, taken outside of Laramie, and tied
to a fence post where he was left for dead. He remained there for 18
hours in near freezing temperatures until he was found. Five
days later, he died.

In a different time, in a different culture, I’m reminded of a similar story. Remember the man traveling from Jerusalem to
Jericho who was attacked by robbers, stripped, and beaten? It took a
priest and a Levite (worship leader) passing by before a third
man, a Samaritan, stopped and took compassion on him. Keep in mind that
the Samaritans were considered the lowest of the low in ancient
socioeconomic circles – the lady of ill repute Jesus met at the well
described in John 4 was also from Samaria. But in Luke 10:33 it
describes the
Samaritan man being “on a journey” (NASB). I find it amazing that
though he was below the social standing of the injured man, he allowed
his journey to stop and help a man in need.

We are born into sin, that’s why it often feels so comfortable and
natural. But we also know that we have the power of choice – good vs.
evil, blessings vs. curses, standing up for those less fortunate vs.
passing along and ignoring a need. Jesus’ choice and
journey brought him to earth, to break the power of sin and to be sin in our place. Where will our choices and journey lead us?

Again belated, yesterday’s stormy weather fits perfectly with my choice of Art Pick for the Week: The Great Wave Off Kanagawa
by Katsushika Hokusai. This print came from a series of works entitled
“Thirty-six Views of Mt. Juji” created in the mid 1800s. Hokusai was
known for his wood paintings and engravings and served as an
inspiration
for Western artists like Whistler, Monet, and Degas. Many thousands of
miles and a whole different culture away, his life was making an
impact. What impact are we making?

But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion…

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