The Black Baby Syndrome

By Samantha Smith |

As I was browsing through the indulgence aisle in the bookstore the other day, I, being of equal brilliance to Martin Luther, was struck by a thought. While most college campuses have an obsession with all things sinful and fleshly (e.g. sexual immorality, idolatry, witchcraft, debauchery, etc.), Samford, being God’s chosen university, is most certainly free of this pernicious devilry. What then, having been set on a course of elite purpose by our guiltless and not-racist-in-the-least-bit founding fathers, is our obsession?

I stumbled out into the blinding light of the noonday sun to find myself spoken to by an other-worldly voice. “Sam, Sam, why do you persecute me?” It spaketh unto my soul. I fell to the ground, writhing in my helplessness, when suddenly my attention was drawn from the one true God by a heel in my side and an angry accusation hurtled into my face.

“Freak, get off the ground! Can’t you see I’m trying to set up my booth for the homeless ministry?”

And just like that, the scales fell from my eyes, and the answer was clear: at Samford, we are obsessed with doing good.

Thus, my inquiry became: what is good? I turned to the most reliable social sources I could find: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It wasn’t long before I knew exactly what good looks like. Good looks like profile pictures of smiling girls in pearls surrounded by starved African orphans chewing on their own fingernails for protein. It looks like patronizing slideshows of whole families with bad hair-days standing outside their tin huts in the Indian slums. Or maybe it looks like blog posts about one-week trips that brought 76,000 people to Christ by the power of the Evangacube.  Dang, that’s more than Jesus. Roll Tide!

“Wow,” I thought unto myself, dabbing my dry eyes with my hanky, “Samfordites are so good at doing good. I am so fortunate to have what I have because most people in the world are just so poor and gross.”  But then I noticed something else in the pictures. Something I didn’t have but desperately needed.

I didn’t have t-shirts with the names of my co-missionaries on the back. I didn’t have pictures of myself smiling with starving, bloated children. I didn’t have a forearm full of bracelets made by those children, tearfully given to me on the day I left! And most devastatingly, I didn’t have Chacos! No wonder that do-gooding person stepped all over me at the Community Involvement Fair! Who did I think I was, having a personal confrontation with God in the middle of their do-gooding convention? How could I possibly be as good at doing good as everyone else at Samford? I might as well transfer to Auburn and sign up for their envy, drunkenness and orgies!

Instead, I just tried raising my hands during worship at Shiloh; now I feel much better about myself.

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