After dealing with back pain for months, I am going to have surgery.

It has been hard to admit I need help.

Even harder to admit that I need the kind of help that will take me out of the game for a bit.

Hard to admit I am human, I am frail, I often can't fix myself.

I am practicing, though. Practicing being human.

Asking friends for meals.

Asking my parents for a ride to the doctor.

Paying someone to mow my lawn, a job I have tackled with gusto and pride for the last 20 years.

Even reaching out for assistance walking my old dog, Stella, who barely walks ... just sniffs stuff and eats trash. 

It is a good humbling exercise for me to be on the receiving end of things.

It reminds me how very, very much we need each other.

I have been pondering the parable of the Good Samaritan, a story Jesus once told when he was grilled about what kinds of people qualify as "neighbor."

In the story, a man is beaten and robbed and left for dead on the side of the road.

Two religious guys pass him by, seemingly unconcerned.

But Jesus casts a Samaritan (an ethnic group hated by Jesus' followers) as the good guy in this story!

Only the Samaritan stops, cares for the bruised and bleeding man, takes him to safety, pays for his care, and is the shining example of neighborliness.

We ALL want to be the "good" Samaritan!!!

We want to be the strong, good, kind one who always helps the weak and needy folks around us. It makes us feel so good about ourselves. It boosts our ego.

But you know what?

Sometimes, we are the person on the side of the road in need.

And it feels shameful to have to admit we are in need of assistance.

To admit we can't make it on our own.

To admit we need to lean in to other people's strength or we will bleed out.

Today, and in the coming weeks, I am the person on the side of the road.

I am in need. 

And my only job - humbling though it may be - is to gratefully and gracefully accept the good, kind, earnest help of all the Good Samaritans who see me and stop to help.