What Would You Do?

down & out

The other night we were channel-surfing after dinner, and found a rerun of “What Would You Do?” hosted by John Quinones. They staged various situations out on the community, to see how people would respond.
One situation they staged was two-fold. First, they had a sharp-dressed woman walking down a busy sidewalk suddenly collapse, seemingly unconscious. With hidden cameras placed around, they recorded how people reacted, and how quickly. Every time, almost immediately, people came to her aid- touching her, talking to her, calling for help. Second, they had a man dressed disheveled, clutching a sack and a beer can, collapse the same way, in the same place. No one stopped, most barely looked at him, even right when he collapsed. After about 50 people passed by on either side, the most unexpected thing happened. A bent-over old black woman, walking with a cane, herself seemingly homeless, hobbled over to him, bent over, and began to touch and talk to him softly. After trying to revive the man with no luck, she stood over him, asking everyone who passed by, “Please, help this man.” After another 30 or so people passed by, ignoring both of them, she began to weep and looked skyward, seeming to cry out to God, “Why??” The woman took the empty beer can from his hand and threw it away, hoping then that someone would stop. She even gave a name to the man, talking to him softly and calling him “Billy.” It made the situation somehow more personal, and her more connected to the man.
Finally, a woman stopped, called 911, and stayed for awhile until the film crew came out and revealed the experiment. Even as the man got up, showing he really was fine, the black woman still kept calling him Billy, and kept stroking his jacket. She eventually ambled off, like an angel with a walking cane. It was moving.
With the premise of the show being “What Would You Do?”, it got me thinking about how I would react. Everyone’s first thought is that they would indeed help, but would we? Would I? I went back and read Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, with new eyes. God calls us to be a real “neighbor”, and not pass by those we can offer the life & love of Christ to.
Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Brandon Heath, “Give Me Your Eyes

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One response to “What Would You Do?

  1. Pingback: The Most Effective Way | This Day With God·

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