Sunday, March 3, 2013

"Too Good to Be True"

The other day I was watching an episode of a BBC crime show called "Wallander".  In this episode, the main character, a detective, investigates two murders that eventually lead him to a wealthy and successful man.  This man has all he could ever want in regards to what you can afford, but when he meets the detective, he tells him about nonprofit work he has done in Africa.  He goes on to explain that he saw how poverty-stricken the people of West Africa were, so he started a hospital foundation there - showing pictures of the African people to the detective, calling them his "family".

However, as the plot unfolds, we finally realize that the man doing "charity" work in Africa is actually using the hospitalized people to illegally sell human body parts around the world, and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.  Of course, the detective and Co. bring him to justice in the end.

What got my attention in this episode was a line one of the characters said towards the end, which went, "It was all too good to be true." (referring to the man and his work in Africa).  It was an intriguing, suspenseful episode, but it got me thinking.  And the more I think about it, the more it disturbs me.  It was all too good to be true.

In other words, a wealthy man who gives millions of dollars to people he doesn't know and who will never pay him too good to be true.  There's a catch to it.  He's in it for some personal gain.  He has to be guilty of something.  Because no one would do that just because they somehow felt compelled to do it.  Giving selflessly to others when you have plenty for yourself, is automatically suspicious, unorthodox, strange, and even untrustworthy.

This disturbs me because it shows how far down we've come as western culture and maybe humanity in general.  In the days of the early church, doing such a thing was respected and revered as something sacred and holy.  That was what eventually turned the church into an established system in the Roman Empire and all throughout Europe.  However, according to the show "Wallander", in today's world, that sort of love and charity is too good to be true.  It must always come with a string or two attached.  No exceptions.

The reason that scares me is because I have met lots of people who were just like the wealthy guy in "Wallander" (at least, what he was like before they found out about what was really going on).  I've met people who had everything they wanted, and they gave all of it up to go serve others overseas or on a reservation or shelter.  Most importantly...I've met parents who had the career, the car, the beautiful home - and then a special child entered their life.  A child like Hannah.  And did those parents turn away from that special child?  Did they have an abortion or give him/her up for adoption?  No!  In fact, I met one couple who actually adopted two little kids because their parents didn't want them.  Neither child was expected to live long, and both passed away before their eighth or ninth birthdays.

To adopt a child no one else wants, knowing he/she will die, just so this child can have someone to hold them for a few short years?  Now that is love.  That is selfless, raw, painful, beautiful love.

Is that also too good to be true?

In our culture, if that sort of love is shown, is it automatically suspicious, untrustworthy?  Do we immediately assume this couple was hiding an evil, selfish motive to adopt two little children who couldn't speak or defend themselves? (Think about that one.)  Is is so impossible for our day and age to wrap our heads around the fact that somebody would actually give up everything for someone who could not give anything back, no strings attaced?  In our day and age, is such an act too good to be true?

If that is the case, pause for a moment, and think about what that implies.

Especially think about what it would imply for kids like Hannah, who can never repay the person who reaches out and helps them.  If charity/love can never be genuine charity/love...where does that leave them? I believe such love is too good to be true?  Absolutely not.  I believe it is so good it proves its own truth, and shows that there is a world above our own world, higher and better than ours, and when it touches down in the form of real love, people get confused and say it must not be true.

Am I getting carried away with this whole thing?  Probably.  But I needed to let off some steam, after all.

1 comment:

  1. I don't believe such love is too good to be true either.. And I have especially witnessed that since our Ella has been in our lives. It makes me sad to see people with a chip on their shoulders about how society won't accept their child and strange looks and rude comments they get. I know that is out there but honestly we have experienced such good through ella's life. whether it be money to help with bills when she was hospitalized for 5 weeks last year or other forms of help, a kind word or just a phone call... Ella's life has really opened us up to the good in people. PS I'm glad you guys are blogging more! :)