I Will Not Bend Down to Help Those People
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) John 4:9
When I decided to go to medical school, I did so for predictable reasons. I liked biology and I wanted to help my fellow man (the prestige and pay didn’t sound too bad either). I grew up believing that I was supposed to love those around me, and I thought being a physician seemed like a nice, comfortable way to fulfill my duty to God.
If you would have told me 20 years ago that I was going to eventually spend my time working with addicts, going to treatment centers, and volunteering at jail, I’d have politely declined. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I think I would have seen that as beneath me. I wasn’t going to bend down to help those people.
As it turns out, I didn’t have to bend down at all. I just had to go through some painful things to understand that I wasn’t better than anyone else. It’s as if God needed to say, You think you’re better? Here, let me show you. Now, when I go to jail, I don’t descend to anyone’s level. I go as someone who has also struggled with addiction and its destructive consequences. I don’t have to bend down, because I’m not above them.
In today’s passage, Jesus spoke with a Samaritan woman, who was surprised Jesus would even address her. The Jews saw the Samaritans as beneath them and even the disciples were shocked that Jesus would stoop so low as to interact with this woman. When she asked why Jesus would talk to her, he just pressed on with his teaching moment. While others would have passed her by, Jesus shared love and truth with this Samaritan woman. The disciples may have refused to bend down to help, but Jesus didn’t.
I picture God in heaven, looking down, while some of us brag that we’re a little closer to him because we’re an inch or two taller. When I think about it from God’s perspective, my pride is ridiculous. I don’t bend down to help others because I’m not better, in God’s eyes, than anyone else. If I want to know faith, life, and recovery, I must obediently love those whom he’s put in my life.