Looking Good Dead

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Last night we went to Norwich to see ‘Looking Good Dead’, the Peter James novel adapted into a stage play.

Tom Bryce is a businessmen struggling to save his business. His alcoholic wife can’t stop spending…

It starts as an ordinary story. The plot develops… murder, intrigue, mystery and suspense. The predictable becomes unpredictable, the good and upright becomes morally corrupt, the straightforward becomes twisted, the light and transparent becomes dark and obscure…

The old story of the Good Samaritan… A traveller walking down a lonely road is beaten up by robbers, ignored by a priest and Levite, helped by a Samaritan, cared for by an innkeeper…

The traveller presented unexpected challenges…

  • The robbers exploited a vulnerable man
  • The religious priest and Levite found a case to discuss or an inconvenience to avoid.
  • The innkeeper served a customer for a fee.
  • The Samaritan cared for a needy person.

I’ve been the robber and innkeeper, making the most of an opportunity. I shall finish better off. The traveller’s a means to my end.

I’ve been the priest and Levite, enjoying discussing religious theory, impersonal principles that don’t require a response. I’ve ignored or condemned the inconvenience that doesn’t fit in…

To the Samaritan the traveller is not a ‘case’ or an ‘inconvenience’. He’s a person who needs not theory but active love, care and compassion. It changes his day. Perhaps his life.

I was due to meet Will at Costa yesterday morning. Will wasn’t there. I waited.

Ray came in and sat reading his paper. I’ve known Ray for a number of years. I joined him. We chatted about life, families, bereavement, hospital visits, faith, disappointments…

‘I go to church, but haven’t been recently…’ Ray talked about changing the ‘love of power’ to the ‘power of love’…

Will never turned up. There were no murders or robberies but I learned another lesson about embracing the unexpected and seeing my God present in the ‘different’.

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