The Man Who Helped

"Down and around. Down and around. Down and around. A man was walking down a hill.

Some bad men saw him coming.  They hit him.  They took his clothes.  They took his pennies.  Then they ran away."

So begins the story of the Good Samaritan as I first heard it: as The Man Who Helped, in a book I still know by heart.  It's a simple story: someone gets into unexpected trouble.  The people who are supposed to help him, don't.  Along comes a stranger who, literally and figuratively, gets him back on his feet.  Simple; extraordinary.

It was a gift to hear this story anew on Sunday morning as we began our 40-day fast in preparation for Christmas.  It's easy to get caught up in the minutiae of fasting -- scouring labels for whey protein and consulting the calendar eagerly to see if we are allowed a glass of wine with dinner.  We forget what it's all about: being good people.  Supporting and loving others.  Imitating Christ.

May your holidays this season be true holidays -- days filled with holiness.  Blessings to you all.