Sarah just stared at Carol. Finally, she asked, “How are sandwiches and prayer and significance and love and the royal law connected? I mean, in your head.”
Carol smiled. “Let me get it out of my head. See if this makes sense. We hear the phrase ‘love your neighbor’ all the time. As neighbors, we want it to apply to us. Which is perfectly understandable. Because we crave love. When we scold someone for not loving neighbors, we are, at least sometimes, saying ‘you aren’t loving me.’”
Sarah nodded. “Right. I get that part. When someone starts ranting about ‘those people’, I want to raise my hand and say, ‘you mean people like my friend Carol?’”
“And you fill in my name because if they don’t love me, they may not be loving you?” Carol leaned forward. “And because it would be really scary for you to say ‘you mean like me?’ We don’t want to risk that kind of openness, particularly since we’re broken.”
Sarah shook her head. “What does openness have to do with brokenness? And sandwiches?”
Carol broke her scone in half and pushed the plate across the table. “Here, have something to eat.”
Sarah shook her head. “I’m not hungry. I’m just wanting you to make some connections.”
Carol smiled. “I am. But I need to tell you a story to tell you a story to get to your question. Is that okay?”
Sarah picked up the piece of scone. Carol was a good teacher, but there was going to be time to eat this.
“The picture Jesus uses to talk about this royal law was a broken man,” Carol said. “Do you remember the story about the man who was mugged and left for dead?”
The question came too quickly. Sarah’s mouth was full of crumbs. She mumbled something.
Carol laughed. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to surprise you. Let me tell it, just for review.”
You can read the story Carol’s referring to. Samaritan.