Vol.X No.II Pg.8
April 1973

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

When I finished showing some 35mm. slides taken in Australia, with comments about churches and brethren there, one fellow remarked, You know, they are people just like us. He had made a great discovery. Oh, he had known before the pictures that Australians were Anglo, spoke English, etc. But just like us!! That amazing discovery might even amaze some of my Aussie friends. I wonder if some of them have discovered that we Americans are just like them, too.

Archie Bunker, the great all-American bigot, sees himself and his kind as regular people; and is now and then amazed that any other kind (inferior, of course) could have the same emotions, reactions, and especially triumphs, as regular people. There may be more of Archie Bunker in all of us than we like to admit. Even the other kind may build their own walls of self-centered classification.

I once took a childrens Bible class to a destitute home to assist in distributing food and clothing. When we returned to the church building I asked the class to express their feelings about the matter. One boy said, with wonder in his voice, Why, they have the same kind of funny books I have. (There may be several lessons in this episode.) That boy had pictured the poor as a people apart— some other kind perhaps, with feelings, emotions, needs different from his. I hope we taught him to see the less fortunate as people just like himself; and to begin to feel a close with them, rather than a remote, cool, for them.

Who is my neighbor? Are we better prepared by the Lords parable (Lu. 10:29-37) to know the answer? Ah, yes!! But are we any more willing to accept the Lords lesson than was the priest or Levite of the first century? Jesus made the despised Samaritan the hero of his parable— one not their kind to teach compassion and concern for any and all in need. I suspect this, was part of the lesson— to expand their concept of brotherhood in Adam. Our kind are all over Gods earth.

Backgrounds are different. Social standards, deeply engrained, may make for difficulty in communication— we, do not think Oriental nor they Occidental. (Were still working on Yankee-Rebel differences.) But Gods children, knowing all men are made in Gods image, should have no difficulty in seeing our kind everywhere.