A compilation of prose and short stories I've written over the years.
|Appreciation of Morning
The beauty of morning is perhaps my favorite. The hues of delicate blues and gentle purples bloom across the dimly illuminated sky. The sun has yet to come, from over yonder hill. The silhouetted trees are neither black nor brown, but a beautiful mixture of the two. Whether summer or winter, the air is cool and smooth. Still my favorite part is the fresh smell of the morning dew. Beauty that happens every day.
The Coming Spring
The brisk air bites my nose and ears, my teeth begin to chatter instantly. There is no snow but the frozen grass crunches under my boots. I exhale in a cloud. Something catches my eye.I trudge over to where it lies. Amidst the icy weeds grows a small purple flower. It holds it head high, bowing only to the wind. I reach down to touch it with my frozen fingers. A chickadee trills above in the tall pines. Peeking its golden head from behind the clouds a small ray of sunlight escapes, placing its golden finger on the perseverant little flower. Although I cannot feel most of my extremities, I walk away with renewed hope. The ice coating everything sparkles, a goldfinch pecks at the suet feeder, the smell of fresh pine is in the air. Suddenly the chill of winter is beautiful.
The Desert Chase
Across the sunny plains, a jackrabbit runs spewing sand behind him in his hasty speed. A coyote yips and growls, trying to catch the quick animal, blinking away the sand in his eyes. His auburn edged sandy coat bristles in his fury at this jackrabbit's defiance to be caught. The jackrabbit knows his pursuer is gaining ground. As the jackrabbit hops around a small bush, the coyote leaps over it effortlessly, gaining even more ground. He can feel the coyote's breath on his back. "It is over." he thought. "This is it." The coyote thought as he lunged. A shot rings through the air. A coyote falls dead, a jackrabbit bounds away. The hunter stashes the gun that ended the chase across the sunny plains.
This Is Not Home
It's old and musty, no sense of home. This house bears an unnamed sadness. No living thing dwells within of its own free will. It has no life or color. To look at it you see children crying, grownups yelling, maids shivering, manservants cringing; this is no house of laughter. Doors are slammed by hardened hearts, stairs trudged up by heavy hearts, tears are shed by broken hearts; there is no happiness here. Alone and very far away, from color and from light. There is a fog of misty gray, it is cold and frightening. It's ugly and foreboding. Abandon hope, this is not home.
As The Evergreen
Over the windy hills, between the snowy mountains, a forlorn fir tree stands. It is small and vulnerable to the wind and creatures. Despite the pressing odds it stands straight. Wind will tear at it furiously, trying to succeed in its mission to yank the fir tree from its place. Deer gnaw its bark, a bear sharpens its claws against its small trunk, yet the fir tree endures this foul treatment. Snowdrifts consume it, but it does not lose hope; the Sun melts it away. It remains evergreen, a symbol of hope. We as Christians can compare our lives to the fir tree: the Devil will try to uproot our faith, people close to us can mistreat us to make our lives harder, scratching at our bark. Problems can consume us, but God can melt them away. Why should we face these any different from the fir tree that dwells over the windy hills, between the snowy mountains?
I place my steps carefully against the edges around the trees, avoiding spots with numerous leaves, but it is to no avail. A twig snaps and it is not too soon that I hear the barking hounds. I leap though the sparse underbrush that offers little protection. My quick brown eyes dart agitatedly for an escape, my panicking mind holds one thought, "run." My hooves lightly tap the ground in my frightened flight, I see a mountain path and bound up it. Some of the rocks are as big as bear heads, I exert all my strength into climbing the treacherous path. The screaming hounds bare their teeth, flash their bloodthirsty eyes as they creep up the side of the mountain towards me. I search desperately for an escape, but the only way is down, so I take it. I careen into the river below, the water will wash away my scent. I leap away into the forest leaving the dogs to work their way down the deadly mountain path.
What Only the Moon Saw
Ghastly pale, a bluish white, her small figure inhumanely thin. Her small dress, pale as the moon, flutters about her tiny ankles. Her dark hair long and stringy, loosely falling about her small shoulders. Her face bears no expression, her lips remain sealed, her eyes hollow as she stares ahead. The man shudders as he backs away, he hadn't believed this sort of thing as a gravedigger, working at midnight. He tried not to make a sound as he backed away. His knee met the cold stone of a grave, he gave out a sharp cry of pain. He quickly bit his lip as the child's head turned in his direction. Her hollow eyes bored into him. He became as motionless as a bird in a snake's gaze. As she walked toward him, he could almost see a sinister smile play about her emotionless expression. She held up her hand, in it was knife, dripping with blood colored deep black in the night. The knife was cold as it plunged into his chest. The man fell into the open pit he had just dug. The full moon illuminated the ghastly scene, the corpse of the man, the little girl's ghost, silent as the grave.
When the World Erupted into Flames
It was a beautiful day. There was no reason for something to go wrong. Everything was in order, everyone was being friendly to one another. The sun was shining, the birds were trilling, the grass was cool and fragrant. The dandelions turned their yellow faces towards the sun's rays of gold. Everything was at peace. There was no reason for something to go wrong.
The sun set, and the world caught on fire. Chaos ensued. The grass turned brown, crumpled, and shriveled away beneath the fire's footsteps. The dandelion's faces were torn away, strangled into oblivion in the fire's grip. Birds and other winged creatures dropped from the sky, feathers singed; their lungs a black testimony to the heavy heat and smoke that filled the sky. Trees caught and started to burn and crisp, its bark peeled away blackened and marred. It would have no strength and crash onto the ground, annihilating anything unfortunate enough to be caught beneath its powerful descent. People shrieked and screamed, their voices drowning in the tumult around them. They ran to and fro, always seeking an end to the flame in a desperate attempt to save themselves. They forsook those around them, leaving one another to their fates. Trees fell, crushing their unlucky victims beneath the mass. A mother clutching her baby could not run fast enough. Her dress caught fire. The flame leapt up her body and quickly immobilized her. The arrival of death was slow and torturous as she burned. Her baby wrapped tight in her arms uttered its last wail. All around the world, the charred remains of men and creatures, forests and towns, lay among the dying embers in the night.
A Day in the Life
With morning comes a new beginning, a reprieve from the dark unknowns of night. I pull myself out of bed with a smile from this thought. I go through my daily tasks with this smile. The morning is unusually bright. I continue to smile on my way to school and through the halls. The bell rings. Classes start. A torrent of lectures, irritated voices, loads of homework, a test I didn't study for, an unwelcome headache. Suddenly I wish I was back in bed.
The gentle breeze rustles the tall savannah grass, bending it to its will. One set of stripes does not bend quite like the others; rather it would crouch down in hiding. Butterflies with bright yellow wings flutter aimlessly around the tips of the long, thin, brown grass. One particular pair of yellow does not move. The soft brown deer leap about the savannah, towards the waterhole and relief for their dry throats. A low guttural growl emanates from the watching yellow-eyed hunter. A doe pauses for a fraction of a second, sensing danger. That is all the time he needs. The great tiger leaps from his grassy hiding place. The mass of deer dart away, the target bolts just as the long white teeth miss her by inches. The tiger follows in hot pursuit, his strong thick paws pushing him ever closer to his terrified prey. The deer's breath quickens, her brown eyes darting wildly for an escape, but finds nothing. She knows the race is lost. The tiger leaps onto his prize, locking it within his mighty jaw. The deer gives a tortured bleat, then collapses silent. The circle of life continues its cycle in the wild.
I am running. To and from are still unknown to me. All I know is that I'm running through an expansive mass of tall grass in a field. The grass is as tall as I, I cannot see where I am going as I beat my way through. I merely assume I am running to get out of this seemingly endless place. The roar behind me insists otherwise. It doesn't matter where I run as long as I run. For if I slow even a fraction of a second the hideous creature behind me will catch me and all will be lost. Even now it reaches out it's slimy tentacles in an attempt to snatch me. It is only inches away. I feel my aching chest screaming to slow. My feet feel like dead weights. I can't help it, I stumble and fall. Turning to look into the face of my predator, the monster looms above me. It's massive black eyes bore into me as its slimy tentacle snatches me and tosses me up into the air. The creature opens its expansive mouth. Rows of circling razor sharp teeth salivate to welcome my arrival into its jaws. I am falling. Towards the monster's open mouth, towards my demise. I hit the floor of my bedroom in a cold sweat, jolted awake from my nightmare.
I was five years old. On the back of the toilet seat stood a single burning candle on a short candlestick. It was Christmas season and this was merely part of the decor. The house belonged to one of my uncles and my family was just visiting when I had needed to use the bathroom.
The candle flame intrigued me. Here I was, alone with fire. My parents were usually around when we lit candles at home, and they kept me from ever getting too close. I marveled at my chance alone with the controlled little flame and suddenly had a burning curiosity to know what fire really felt like. I knew fire would burn me; but honestly, no one truly explained what a burn was like. I could only gather it was painful and bad, but I didn't know how much. Without putting much weight on the consequences, I stuck my finger into the flame. I held it there, surprised it didn't hurt like I was expecting. I pulled my finger out and felt happier, braver for having done it. My finger felt a little hot, but otherwise was fine. For about two seconds.
Suddenly the heat in my finger grew. Then it became pain. That pain began to pulse in my finger. I tried washing my hands, but the cold water only seemed to aggravate the blistering pain that had now taken over my right index finger. I clasped my finger tightly with my left hand. That seemed to help restrict the throbbing. I had to go downstairs to get additional help from my parents about what to do. I had expected pain that I thought would last only as long as my finger touched the fire. I hadn't expected the pain to linger and grow after my finger had been withdrawn. I certainly hadn't expected to be dealing with the pain for the next two days; my finger stayed tender and even developed a mild blister in those two days.
I never forgot the incident. It's a good example of my innate curiosity for things that could be bad for me. It was two weeks after I'd turned 18 when I met the candle flame that would intrigue me enough to thrust my heart into fire to see what it felt like. His eyes were a dark hazel, large and full of a depth I'd never noticed in him before. I struggled to keep my wits about me. I'd often described him as having a silver tongue to others, but I'd never expected he'd one day use it on me. I refused to let his words fool me, but they still sucked me in. I was trapped in his presence because there was something so intriguing about him. Part of me knew I should leave, but at the same time I didn't want to go. The dormant feelings he was stirring within me were invigorating and forbidden, and growing every moment I spent in his presence. I was trying to put up a strong front, I didn't want him to know how much he was affecting me.
Do you know what it’s like to get pushed around? To fall so hard you hit the ground and bruise your hip? To stand back up – not understanding what you did to make him so angry – only to be pushed again. This time you whirl around and slam into the cold metal broadside of a car. Your head throbs with the impact. Your eyes sting with tears and your breath hitches in your throat as a series of broken sobs.
Every rebellious fiber in you refuses to be stifled. You scream and cuss at him as tears stream down your face. His response is cold, uncaring. Suddenly you’ll say anything just to elicit an emotion from him. You want him to break out of whatever possession he’s under in hopes his conscience will also surface. You know him well enough to know he doesn’t actually want to hurt you.
Thinking back to just a year ago, when he’d poke or tease you, you could’ve never seen this coming. Two years ago you couldn’t imagine it’d be happening to you. If ever assaulted you were confident you would report your attacker. How about now? You remember all the times he’d grab you roughly, or restrain your hands. You remember trying to poke or tease him back, and he’d block you and poke you much harder than you poked him. You remember when it evolved to flicking, which you’d complain about and he wouldn’t care. You remember the first time he slapped you across the face. You ran that day, eyes stinging with hot tears. He caught up to you when you didn’t want to go any further, he put his arms around you from behind and told you it was okay. Hugging you and telling you there was nothing to cry about. You don’t remember him saying he was sorry. He almost never said he was sorry.
Some days were worse than others. Some fights were worse than others. He had a flaring temper, and little things could trigger it. When things were fine it was the best of times, he was the best friend he could be and you could talk about anything, do anything together, and go anywhere. Until he got angry. He’d turn into someone you barely recognized. You knew this other side to him more than you wanted to, seen it more than you’d like to, angered it more than was good for you. The bruises healed fairly quickly and only a few scars remained; they’re so light against your skin, no one can really tell.
Sometimes you wonder if people will notice, but they never appear to. If they do, they don’t do anything. Don’t they know why you can’t tell on him yourself? You can’t have that betrayal weighing on your conscience. You don’t want to be the one to get him in trouble despite what he’s done because it’s not always like that.
Beauty and the Beast
I fell backwards onto the cold floor, having half turned sideways in a futile attempt to catch my fall, instead my hip feeling the worst of it. Judging by the throbbing sensations, I was certain to have a bruise in the morning. Blinking back my tears, I scrambled up; but it was too soon. I felt the force of another wave of magic and I spun, my chest slamming into the hard marble pillar supporting the vaulted ceilings. My lungs felt crushed and it was a frightening moment as I tried to draw breath. I had sank to my knees more harshly than I intended, giving me yet another point of pain to contemplate. This time I didn't rise, I didn't wish to be brought back down a third time. He stood motionless and seething. My breath had returned to me and I let it escape in ragged sobs.
I wanted him to feel guilt, I knew his strength would not allow me to harm him physically. I wanted my cries to act as daggers on his heart. I could only hope those daggers pierced the stone that clung to it, that the pain would preserve his humanity.
I dared to look at him and see if my tears were having the desired effect. In the dim candlelight I could see by his posture Rumplestiltskin was still upset, but no longer violently so. Still, I would not receive any attempts at contrition or solace.
"Stand up." He ordered coldly. That calculated coldness caused me pain.
"So you can push me again?" I retorted. That earned me a quick flash of anger in his eyes, and then his fists clenched in a hardened resolve.
"No." Was all he replied. I knew it truly did pain him to see me so and he wished me out of the position now that his temper had mostly subsided. I, on the other hand, reveled in the tiny power it afforded me. It felt a shame to waste it, but I knew my goals were better served by being submissive THIS time. I stood, keeping my resillience concealed. I wanted him to think I was cowering and weak. Tears still trickled down my cheeks. Let them come, I thought.
The sight of my distress seemed to soften him a little, unconsciously his hand reached out to me. When he saw it he snapped it back. He brusquely turned and stalked away from the ball room.
I waited only long enough to collect myself, wipe the tears away, and straighten my gown, before I too made my exit. My footsteps echoed in the empty room. I refused to allow the squabble shake my resolve.
You may be wondering what sort of relationship we must have had. It is certainly difficult to explain. I'll come right out and say it, Rumplestiltskin is an enchanted wizard and I am his ward. He's enchanted because he's got reptilian skin, bright yellow eyes, and slightly pointed teeth. Not to mention he can do magic. Still, his temper was his own though I'm sure he blamed his transformation for it. It often got the best of him and tonight was no exception. Sometimes I did try to provoke his ire, but tonight had not been one of those times. He'd sat alone at his grand piano in the ballroom playing his music. I tried to sit beside him on the piano bench as he often let me do in the past, but this time he locked me out. Every attempt I made to sit on the bench was met by a wall of magic. He did not even acknowledge me to inform me why I was not allowed this time. In my anger at being scorned so, I had no patience for his unexpected mood swing and I let my stubbornness get the better of my senses. I briskly walked to the other side of the grand piano's lowered hood and hoisted myself upon it to find my seat there. I did not expect his anger that followed. His piano was precious to him and he saw my treatment as a sort of insult that risked damaging the structure. The hatred in his eyes as he suddenly rose from his bench startled me. I scrambled off the hood but it was too late. With a flick of his wrist I went careening to the floor. His vengeful nature was as beastly as his appearance.
He had been through much to leave him so scarred physically and emotionally. As a man seeking power through magic he apprenticed himself to a beautiful witch. She taught him well but he made the mistake of falling for her enticements. After she had captured his heart she crushed it as though it meant nothing to her. Rumplestiltskin's revenge was swift. His hatred fueled his power and he destroyed her. That sort of dark magic leaves a mark on you, and his appearance began to reflect the monster.
Rumplestiltskin began to believe himself to be the heartless monster everyone else feared he was, which only further served to imbue him with a monstrous nature. He became as cruel in nature as the one who had created him.
There was one maiden who enamored Rumplestiltskin with her beauty and innocence shortly after he disposed of the witch. The young maid's name was Belle. However, as his desire for more power and his wicked inclinations started to surface, the delicate girl could only withstand so much. At first he tried to hide his ways around her, but as they became more imbued it became more apparent. He tried many times to change himself, but outside of Belle's presence he had little power over his inclinations. Selfishness, greed, and a lack of self control ruled his ambitions. After many tears, lies, and betrayals, the young beauty left him. She promised to love him always, but was unable to withstand his actions that drove her away. It broke his heart for the final time; he didn't even know he had a heart left to break until after she was gone. He lost all hope to ever love another.
I was something of an interest to him. I had sought him out in his reclusive castle, and not many did so. The stories I'd heard intrigued me and I wished to see the monster myself. If I'd thought the stories intriguing, the man was ten times so. The men I had met in the village were a little boring to me, few matched my intelligence and fewer held any mystery or excitement so I'd never accepted any suitors. Rumpel was completely different, his intelligence was unparalleled to any I'd met, and I assumed his quick mind had abetted his skills in magic. He was more interesting to talk to than anyone I'd known in the village. Despite his sometimes more frightening nature, there was a mischievous, impish side to his machinations that I found endearing. I quickly became infatuated with him. He found my fascination fascinating, and was equally surprised my knowledge of his true nature did little to frighten me. It led to a dalliance (my first) that would have been harmless except my father saw it as a shame to my honor and I was disowned. I should've seen it coming, but my strong will had overridden my senses as is often the case with me. Having nowhere else to go, Rumplestiltskin took me in as his charge and our dalliances continued. He did not love me, I was little more than an amusement.
I also tended to be an annoyance. He was used to his power, but I was not. My stubborn nature often had me challenging who was really in charge. It amazed me the first time he didn't strike me down or send me away at my impertinence. I had gotten so angry at his pride I threw a cup at him. My eyes grew wide when I realized the potential gravity of what I'd done. He looked angry at first, but seeing my sudden contrition was funny to him. He laughed and told me, "It's just a cup." I knew at that moment I must mean something to him that kept me alive. I reveled in the power that afforded me. I began to play a dangerous game to find out exactly where my place was, challenging his authority, and discovering how much I could truly get away with. It often led to fights that I bore the worst of, but like him I also desired power where I could get it. So it was a game I continued at my own risk, knowing if I wasn't careful I could push him too far and never recover. He could grow tired of me, force me back out into the world, or worse, do away with me entirely. It was a risk I was willing to take because I was a stubborn idiot.
The next morning, the quarrel of last night was all but forgotten. I suspected his outburst was due more to whatever he'd been contemplating when I interrupted. I wondered if he'd been thinking about Belle... I was so deep in thought that when he appeared in a puff of smoke above me I was nearly startled into falling off the bookshelf ladder. His impish grin melted my indignation and I laughed at his silliness and playfully swatted him. This of course, was met by him actually pushing me off the ladder. I gasped as I fell, I felt my muscles involuntarily tense as they braced for impact. I squeezed my eyes shut tight. He caught me at the bottom, the impish mischief in his eyes and the smirk on his face made my heart flutter. He kissed me. As his scaly lips caressed mine, I felt like I was melting in his arms.
Although Rumplestiltskin made it clear he did not love me, I still belonged to him. It pleased me that he did not wish me in the arms of another man. He had little cause to be jealous as there were no other men to seek my attentions while I was housed in his castle. My own jealousy burned bright when Rumplestiltskin would don a disguise and enter the village. Along with his desire to cause mischief, he sought dalliances with more than just me. I had access to one of his magic mirrors and I hated to see the girls he wooed grow infatuated with him as he fed them lies. Part of the jealousy lay in fear of my being replaced, it would spell the end for me. Another part of my anger lay in the fact that they were infatuated with the lie he presented, whereas I liked him scales, teeth, and all. It frustrated me that he couldn't see that. I knew he would never love me, not like Belle, whose name still pained him to utter. I still wanted him to want me more than the others though, to appreciate me and see my particular affections as more unique than anything those girls could ever offer. It often seemed like too much to hope. I chastised myself for being vain in wishing it, but I couldn't stop wishing. I'd do anything to stop him from going after other girls. I often made myself so available to him for that reason, so he wouldn't need them. It was in trying to prevent Rumpel from finding my replacement that I often got in trouble...
My Dreams were once as Butterflies
My dreams were once as butterflies. Fluttery, bright, fragile and paper thin. But against nets, predators, and snares, my dreams were broken down and pinned. But with the flock so dispersed emerged a new dream I didn't see before. So delicate and intricate was its design, I admired it so much more. This butterfly is my only dream left, the only dream that still has wings and soul. I watch it carefully and do my best to help it reach its goal. My dreams were once as butterflies, but now they are no more. My only dream left will save my life, it's what I'm living for.
Dear Broken Girl
She was broken, a butterfly who still thought she was an ugly caterpillar, and didn't deserve to fly. Allowing herself to fall prey to deceitful spiders and abusive frogs who would break her wings and devour her. She did not realize she could fly away to freedom. She never tried. She only ever saw herself as a caterpillar. If only she'd known what I know. She could have really lived. If she's reading this now, she still can.
The Good Muslim
A baptist preacher was driving along in his car through a city and happened to see a homeless man at his post alongside a busy street. He was fully aware of the fact that there are some people who pretend to be homeless as a scam and live in really nice houses based off of the sheer amount of money they make through begging. He also knew many beggars spent money given to them on drugs or alcohol or gambling, whatever addiction had brought them to this situation in the first place. No, he only donated money to charities and homeless shelters. He could trust those establishments to not abuse the donations. This man on the side of the street needed to go there if he really wanted help. The baptist preacher drove on.
A catholic missionary who had just gotten back from Honduras also happened to drive by and see the man. He had the same thoughts as the baptist preacher, he distrusted the man and believed he had the resources available to help himself out if he was really that much in need. He too passed by.
It just so happened, that same day a man of the Islamic faith, a Muslim, also was driving by. He saw the man, however there was nowhere to park on the busy street. He pulled over into the first available public parking space he could find and walked several hundred feet just to get back to the man.
The homeless man saw him coming and asked him for money. The Muslim asked him, “What do you need?”
The homeless man replied, “Anything helps.”
The Muslim asked him, “What is your name?”
The homeless man hesitated before answering, “Brandon.”
“Well, Brandon, would you like to join me for lunch?”
Brandon acquiesced, and the Muslim took him to a local Wendy's. He bought him an entire meal and while they ate he asked Brandon about himself. Brandon's story was nothing tragic or special. He was a high school dropout who had trouble showing up to work on time and had trouble holding down a job as a result. He was also bad at managing money, and his parents were definitely not rich so they had kicked him out when he began to excessively drain their income. The Muslim listened to his story without any hint of disdain or disapproval. Brandon had become more animated as he talked, thrilled to have someone listen to him and make him feel human again.
After they finished eating, the Muslim again asked Brandon, “What do you need?”
Brandon had to hesitate a long time before answering. If he had asked, “What do you want?” then the answer may have been simpler.
Finally, having just told his story out loud, Brandon swallowed his pride and admitted, “I need to hold down a job.”
The Muslim smiled and drove him to an employment agency. The Muslim actually had to be at a business meeting, but had taken time out of his day to help the stranger. He dropped Brandon off at the agency and instructed them to help this man to the best of their ability and that he would be back after his meeting. The employment agency helped Brandon apply to jobs, and when the Muslim returned he took Brandon out and paid for him to stay in a fairly decent motel room, rather than on the streets. Brandon was amazed that anyone would go that above and beyond for a complete stranger.
Now let me ask you, who was Brandon's neighbor?
Yes, that story is a copy of Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan. While so many Christians know the story, its true impact has become lost to the times. Almost any of us would help an injured man on the side the road. We'd run up, see he was unconscious and dial 911. So many of us pass bums and homeless people on the street. I'd warrant at least everyone who has been driving on their own for at least three years has passed at least one homeless person. We all have excuses for why we didn't stop, “We were going somewhere and on a time crunch,” or we simply distrusted what the homeless person would do with the money. It's frighteningly familiar to the excuses of the priest and the levite who passed the injured man on the side of the road. They were busy and in a hurry to get to their destination, and they feared being robbed themselves if they stopped. Finally, there's the Samaritan himself. There's such a good stigma attached to “Samaritan” nowadays because of Jesus' parable. We have the “Samaritan's Purse” charity organization and children are told to be like 'the Good Samaritan.' We are out of touch with the original analogy. We know Jews didn't like the Samaritans. Samaritans were half-breeds, half Jew, half gentile. They claimed to worship the same God as the Jews but because they weren't allowed in the temple they had their own form of worship services and their own practices. It made the Jews angry and they didn't believe the Samaritans were of the same faith. There was prejudice and animosity between the two groups, so when Jesus used the Samaritan as the hero of the story, the Jews felt probably the same way you felt reading the story with a Muslim as the hero with a never-ending supply of Christ-like qualities. The point of Jesus' parable was not just to “go out of your way to help everyone.” Jesus told the parable in answer to the question, “Who is my neighbor?”
Too often we try to put ourselves in the role of the Good Samaritan, but I think we're supposed to be putting ourselves in the role of the people listening to the parable being told. We have to open our eyes and love and accept our fellow neighbor, no matter how differently his practices are from ours. We acknowledge God meant everyone is our neighbor, but we forget that the story of the Good Samaritan was Jesus' way of pointing out our neighbor is exactly who we least prefer to think of that way. Think about that.