The Suburban Vagabond

On a search for a better world, finding it in the most unlikely places

The Good Neighbor: A Parable Re-imagined

An American businessman, an oil executive, was flying into Afghanistan for an important meeting. On the way, his plane experienced catastrophic engine failure, and was forced to crash land. The passengers and crew – with the exception of the businessman – were all killed. He managed to stagger out of the burning wreckage, and lay bleeding, battered, and bruised under the shelter of a boulder, crying out for help from God and man.”

Soon a humanitarian worker in the employ of an international aid organization passed by and saw the wreckage. He stopped to ponder the plight of the businessman. “I wish I could help this man!” He said. “But these hills are full of insurgent fighters, and even now they are probably waiting to ambush anyone who tries to help.” He went on his way.

Next, an American missionary passed by. He was on his way to a local village to baptize several new converts. He stood aghast, surveying the horrific scene. “I should help this poor, injured foreigner,” he thought while getting out of his car. Suddenly he stopped “I wonder what the villagers would think if I delayed their meeting? Would I lose all the time I’ve invested to build their trust if I put this foreigner above their needs?” He hesitated. “Besides, Who knows if this is some kind of trap. There may be insurgents hiding in the hills, and what would my wife and children do if I were assassinated or captured by terrorists?” With a hurried glance to the heavens, he arrived at a decision. “I will pray that God will send this man some assistance, and if he is still here on my way back I will take it as a sign from God that I am to help him.” Like the other, he hurried on his way.

Forsaken and alone, the businessman lay under the boulder, feeling his life fade away. He no longer had the strength to call out…

At that moment, a local villager, Ibrahim, came by. Like the others, he stood in shock at the carnage, But only for a moment. He ran up to the wreckage, praying to Allah that someone was still alive. Finding the businessman’s apparently lifeless body under the boulder, Ibrahim rejoiced to hear his heart still beating. Unwinding his turban, he stopped the bleeding as best he could, then he carried the businessman to his car as tenderly as a mother would carry her child. Ibrahim took the businessman to his own home where he was treated as an honored guest. He called the local doctor to examine him, while having his wife prepare the best foods for him. When he was sufficiently recovered, Ibrahim took the businessman to his cousin Farzad  the smuggler,with instructions to conduct him safely to the American embassy in Kabul. Ibrahim payed for all of this out of his own pocket, without a thought of the possibility of repayment.

So who was a true neighbor to the American businessman? Go and do the same.


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This entry was posted on 2011/12/08 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .

Shorter thoughts…

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