Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Homeless good Samaritan left to die on NYC street

Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, a Guatemalan immigrant, was the kind of person people in New York ignored. He was dirty and homeless, but it didn't mean Tale-Yax wasn't human. It seems, actually, he was a pretty good guy. When a woman was attacked by a knife-weilding man in a short-sleeved green shirt and green hat, Tale-Yax, 31, leapt into action. He paid dearly for his heroic effort after he was stabbed. After falling the ground at 144th Street and 88th Road in Jamaica, Queens, around 5:40 a.m. on April 18, many people walked by him without doing anything to help. He laid there, first bleeding in pain and then motionless, for more than an hour, as dozens of people walked by, nobody stopping to help, according to a surveillance video obtained by the New York Post. One person even took what appears to be a photo with his cell phone before leaving Tale-Yax, who finally received assistance -- via 911 call -- at about 7:20 a.m.

I couldn’t agree more with the assessment and comment made by one person commenting on another preacher’s blog: "It is time to stop being afraid, it is time for revival of humanity, it is time to care. 'Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.' We let Jesus die on the sidewalk!"

Check out the video yourself below!


Everything today in our culture (just watch TV and listen to music) teaches us to focus on our selves… our self promotion… our self awareness, our self indulgence… our self comfort… our self concern… our self everything. In its cancerous pollution way, sin has led to us believing that the only course to our meaning and relevance is through ourselves.

I think what greatly breaks my heart in this story is that I can see myself “not doing enough”… I see just how easily I am guilty of this and how my engagements… my feeling of needing to get things done on my schedule and my fear of getting dirty or “attacked” may hinder me from having helped Hugo out… or making sure at least the ambulance would have found him sooner. I am heartbroken because in a society and culture that prides itself in being the most forward-thinking… considerate and modern… Hugo’s story shows just how far we have missed the mark. It shows just how different and contrasted is the person that is selfless vs. the ones that are selfish.

The selfless one died saving another. The selfish did nothing… watched him suffer… and got to live their lives still pursuing selfish motivations. Doesn’t this story sound familiar? This is the story of Jesus Christ. He is the one that lived a perfect and holy life, and then was falsely accused and died selflessly to save many others. What is amazing is that he not only lived a life that was perfect and without sin, but in his death, he rose 3 days later and now sits beside God advocating and speaking on our behalf… for those standing there watching him suffer and did nothing. This is the Son of God that did this for us, and shows you just how much God loves us that He would send His beloved Son to live and die for us.

Hugo’s death also breaks my heart because I believe that many of us self-professed Christians are at times no different than those many people that walked by and did nothing/not enough. Who is our neighbor? The question that came to my mind and a few others is… were any of those people that walked by Christian? I tell you it doesn’t matter, but I bet you that I would not be surprised if some were, and failed to do anything.

Where are YOU at? Which one of the people are you in the story of the Modern Day Good Samaritan? Is your life so about yourself… that you are oblivious to those around you? To the basic compassion and grace and opportunities to love? Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax is the Jesus in his tragic death. Where are the Jesus’ around you?

“Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

May God help us break the sinful selfishness in us!

Robert Prater


reborn1995 said...

Just wanted to say i appreciate your comments over at OneinJesus. i think i relate a great deal to what you say. i think some conservatives have done, said, and behaved in ways that are biblically inexcuseable and the progressives are right to point this out. Some conservatives seem guilty of drowning the baby in the bath water. But so far, it appears to me that the progressive position leads to throwing the baby out with the bath water. Progressives seem to be hyper-reacting to the "old" positions. i think what's needed is somewhere in the middle, but i don't often hear people arguing for a solid "middle" position. Anyway, hope you keep posting here and commenting there.


preacherprater said...


Thanks for your encouraging words about both my comments over at Oneinjesus and my blog. They mean alot to me, believe me.

Yes, we have a tendency to live in extremes. We sometimes have a hard time walking down a middle path.

I am deeply disturbed and bothered by certain brethren and congregations and preachers who are "in a tight-knit circle of fellowship," and who include within that circle of fellowship "only those who agree completely with them on a particular set of issues." This is a sectarian spirit. And on top of that, many of them do display an obnoxiously contentious spirit. I deplore such probably as much as most of the progressives over at Oneinjesus.

But I still believe we must speak out against both far left liberal denominational thinking which appears to be consuming many once faithful congregations and yet, we must resist the ultra militant, trigger-happy zealots and sectarianism on the far right.

I just fear lines are beginning to really more than ever in our recent history in churches of Christ be drawn. And a good number of us are not at all happy standing behind either of the lines offered:)!

I’m continued to avoiding and lovingly battle against the extremes of liberalism and radicalism in and out of the church.

Anyway, thanks again for keeping up with my little blog which isn't of anything:)

If you and your family are ever over here near Shawnee, stop in and join us some time for worship!

God bless you,

Robert Prater