"How the Good Samaritan Turned Bad"
Excerpt from CHAPTER 1
The Good Samaritan trudged down the steep road leading from the east side of Jerusalem, keeping to the smooth parts so that his donkey wouldn't lose its footing. It was only the third hour, and the intense dry heat was already rising up from the Jordan Valley. Another one of those draining summer treks that GS had resigned himself to making.
The occasional passerby eyed him suspiciously, and GS was resigned to that too. They were Judeans. His face and clothing proclaimed that his home was in the other direction, far to the north. If he were a Smart Samaritan, he throught wryly, he would be there now, on his hill overlooking Shechem, cooling off - and minding his own business. But chance (or was it God?) and a sense of conscience had sent him in a different direction, on different business.
He knew this road better than most... more than he wanted to. The number of attacks on it had increased since the spring. And for some reason, he always seemed to be the first to find the victims. He had put his merchant business on hold and postponed his homeward trip for the last month, trying to get to the bottom of the mysterious beatings.
He thought back to the first victim he had rescued. It was a Jewish priest, of all people, and that encounter had been a life-changing experience for both the Samaritan and the Jew. But what a strange story the beaten man had told....
For one thing, he claimed that other priests had passed him before GS arrived, but when he called out for help, they pretended not to see or hear. One actually yelled back a rebuke, something about "negative confession", before hurrying over to the other side of the road.
Even more disturbing was his claim that he knew his attacker. It was no ordinary robber of the hills....
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