December 27, 2018, Prescott-
The evening dinner and discourse, at a good friend’s house, went very well, actually- as I am just not attached to those aspects of my personality that someone finds disconcerting. The run-up to, and expectations of, a conversation about what people expect from one another, can be uncomfortable and filled with trepidation. Thankfully, I felt no such angst, once I recited a strong prayer, this afternoon. My friend was not sure how I would react to her comments, but you know, what she asked is so totally reasonable and fair, that my answer was “Absolutely!” That is how I was raised- with Mom telling us not to hold back with our upsets and distresses, so long as they were stated with dignity and a bit of forbearance. So, the evening went, a nice meal, a respectful concord and the viewing of the film, “Samson”.
Therein, the story of the Hebrew leader and freedom fighter is depicted, with an earnest but troubled Samson, opposed by both some of his more militant Danite villagers and by the Phillistines, ruled by Balek and his ambitious, conniving son, Rallah, and daughter-in-law, Delilah. It is Delilah who tricks Samson, three times, into giving the royals the information and strength they need to oppress the Danites and Nazarites. Rallah, though, is portrayed as a sociopath, killing Samson’s wife and father-in-law, two turncoat Hebrews and Samson’s father, before killing his own father, so as to take the crown. The tale ends, much as it does in the Old Testament.
Samson’s main point is about integrity and humility, with the superhuman giving all credit for his strength to God, not disputing with his Hebrew opponents, and facing the Phillistine’s challenges without batting an eye. He experiences angst about not following the letter of the law, whilst removing tunics from dead soldiers, thereby breaking a vow to never touch the dead. The angst follows Samson, for other actions, throughout the story.
I am likewise committed to integrity and self-purification. Not being a superhuman, or a member of an oppressed community, my own actions have to be about maintaining both my own dignity and worth, and honouring those of my friends. It’ll never be a matter of “self-defense”, when questioned or corrected, especially by those who have consistently had my best interests in mind.