A mentally handicapped man witnessed a hit-and-run accident and rushed to the injured pedestrian, waving traffic to stop.
A passenger in a stopped vehicle shot video of the situation. The man acted heroically and clearly saved the pedestrian’s life. Others did step in and assist as well, but he was the obvious hero.
As the helicopter took the injured pedestrian away, the man suddenly became anxious when he realized the time. He had missed his bus home and was very concerned. One person standing nearby offered him a ride and he struggled with indecision. Finally he called his mother, who asked to speak with the police officer at the accident scene.
The police officer explained the situation, and that her son was a hero according to all the witnesses. He asked permission to interview the man and she agreed, cautioning him to make the interview short and without pressure. She explained that her son was a slow speaker, and did not do well with many questions or pressure.
The officer seemed confident he could gather the information needed without pressuring him, and thanked the woman for her assistance. He assured her that she did not need to come to the accident scene, for he would drive her son home as soon as he could. He hung up the call, handed the phone to the man, and returned to the accident scene. He assumed that the man had heard the conversation and understood the plan.
Confused that his mother was no longer on the phone, the man became anxious. He knew his mother would be worried that he had no way home when he saw the person who had offered him a ride drive away. He fiddled with his phone, trying to dial her number again but he couldn’t focus. He had great concern for the pedestrian who had been hurried away, but could not express this to those around him effectively. The police officer came over and asked him a few hurried questions before he was interrupted by traffic problems and left again.
Several individuals came to thank him and congratulate him while he was trying to dial his mother in a confused state. A few patted him on the back or shook his hand while he continued to vacillate between his worries about getting home and his concern for the pedestrian. He seemed unmoved by the attention of those around him, but was a bit unnerved by the pats on the back. One person began to clap and soon everyone in the vicinity joined in, smiling broadly at him. He bowed automatically, training from childhood performances. This made the crowd cheer more, and chuckle a little at the antics of this unlikely hero. The laughter was not welcome. The man had been laughed at since childhood and had learned to fight back.
Turning around quickly to catch sight of those who laughed at him, he glared all around him. His fist struck the first person he saw, a teenage girl who was smiling and laughing merrily. Shocked, the crowd quieted to see the girl lose her balance, and begin crying from the blow to her nose. All the bystanders stared at the man and said nothing; he seemed unmoved by the girl’s tears. His face had gone a bright shade of red, his fists were still clenched, and he seemed ready to hit again.
Video of his body movements and stance were shot by the same person as before, capturing his aggressive pose. The police man stepped forward and spoke calmly but firmly, bringing the man back to reality. He began to weep, asking where the person in the ‘red shirt’ went and repeating certain phrases again and again. The crowd dispersed, many looking back coldly as they left.
—————Thoughts that motivated this story—————
In this story I looked at judging others based on externals
And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
In Matthew 2:23 we read that Joseph settles down. It apparently was not his first choice to live in the region of Galilee. It is interesting that he wasn’t happy with that, for Mary was from there. We could say that this seems a little uncharacteristic of Joseph to be so judgmental, to want only Judea. However, Nazareth was not a popular place, it was lowly and humble. It is not unreasonable to seek for something better, especially for the Messiah. Read Nathanael’s response in John 1:46 to hearing where Jesus was from to see what kind of reaction folks had to Nazareth.
And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? So Jesus will be raised in an obscure, despised place, a place judged by many. He will be despised by the world’s standards and in that reveal the judgmental nature of many. He will speak with an accent that is not eloquent or educated, just as some parts of a country look down upon another as backwards or slow today. Its easy to believe prejudices we are taught from childhood. However, we all fall short and to assume otherwise is being blind to one’s own failings.
The author Matthew continues with the point that even where Jesus grew up was planned by God and being called a Nazarene was prophecy fulfilled. Is 11:1 and others refer to the Hebrew word ‘netzer’ which translates to ‘branch’. I am not a Hebrew scholar, but I suspect Matthew was arguing points a Jew in his day would find compelling. As I am not from that time, nor familiar with the culture enough to judge; I will assume his point hit home with the intended recipients. To me, it more important to notice the fact that with Jesus, no one was impressed by his parents, his appearance, or his home town. He was prophesied to be despised, as described in Is 53:3, and we can tell that being from Nazareth was one reason to be despised. It is always sobering to realize I might just discount someone’s value based on one mistake, or the way they speak as well.