Friday, July 9, 2010

As Good a Samaritan as I Know

Desperate for a Good Samaritan illustration for Sunday’s Gospel text? You might want to remind your folk about the movie, The Blind Side. Many of them will have seen it. Sandra Bullock won an Academy Award this year for her stunning role in the film. The story behind the movie is about the Tuohy family in affluent-Germantown, Tennessee—a well-heeled Memphis suburb. One cold night as they drove along in their Mercedes Leigh Ann Tuohy said to her husband Sean, “Turn around.” She told him there was a big black man walking down the street with only a t-shirt and short pants. That turning around changed their lives.

They invited Michael Oher home with them. He was one of thirteen children. His mother was drug addicted and he was almost homeless. So the Touchy unofficially adopted Michael. Progress was slow. Change for all of them did not come easily. But they hung in there—made sure Michael played football and finished High School. While in school Michael not only played football but became a College All-American. The scouts were so impressed with Michael they offered him a scholarship to Ole Miss. After college he was a first round NFL draft choice. Today he plays for the Baltimore Ravens.

The Tuohy’s have just written a book about this experience: In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving. Interviewed on Good Morning America this week Leigh Ann, said, “One thing we want people to get from our story: the person you just walked past is the one who could change your life—so, every once in a while, stop and turn around.” The strange thing is that the Tuohy family talks about how Michael changed their lives—not how they helped change his—which they certainly did. Is there a better Good Samaritan story for us to think about in this “it’s all about me” age.

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