The passage Exodus 23:1-5 was chosen for MH staff morning devotions one day last week. Verses 4 and 5 sparked some lively conversation with some saying this can be a very difficult passage to follow especially verse 5.

“When you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back. When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭23:4-5‬ ‭NRSV‬‬

It struck me that culturally, there are many subjects and situations presented in the Bible that can be seen more literally here because of Haitian culture. Some passages can be very true to the reality of life

A group of haitians pray together in a huddle.

“What if you are called upon to assist by someone you might consider an enemy?”

I have been witness many times to a donkey stranded, broken down, on the road with a burden too heavy to carry.  Often a donkey is ‘traveling’ alone because he already knows where to go. The owner may have given a slap on the donkey’s backside and the donkey started on his journey.
 
What if the ‘beast of burden’ comes to the breaking point and cannot bear the heavy load one more step? There he lays, helpless to be able to stand again.
 
If the donkey’s master is there, a call for assistance is needed to lift the load as much as possible so that the donkey can
get up to a standing position and hopefully continue on to the destination.
 
What if you are called upon to assist by someone you might consider an enemy?
 
It is intriguing how this is not just a metaphorical, symbolic story within the lives of the Haitian people. This can be a reality every day.