COVER ART INTERPRETATION
The Good Samaritan at
the Door of the Inn
Artist: Daniel Bonnell
Daniel Bonnell’s painting, The
Good Samaritan at the Door of the
Inn, inspired me to consider how
this familiar story might have unfolded from the innkeep-
er’s perspective. I imagine the scenario much like this: The
Samaritan was in the shadows, but the innkeeper recognized
him immediately. The Samaritan was a longtime customer.
That night he carried what appeared to be a lifeless body.
“He’s hurt. We must care for him,” the Samaritan might have
said. Perhaps the innkeeper thought, But the injured man is a
Jew. Would a Jewish man care for a wounded Samaritan? The
Samaritan seemed to care deeply for the man. I can imagine
the Samaritan saying to the innkeeper, “I have to go. He’s a
stranger to me, but he needs help. I know you will care for
him well. When I come back this way, I will pay any extra
expenses his care incurs.” Then he was gone. Perhaps the
innkeeper was thinking only about the money and his reputa-
tion. Maybe he wondered, What makes him think I will care
for this man? But he’s trusting me. How can I let him down?
The painting makes each of us witnesses to the
Samaritan’s compelling actions in an intimate and powerful way. Maybe the next time the innkeeper came across
someone in need, his response to the person was different
because of his experience with the Samaritan. Maybe the
next time we come across someone in need, our response will
be different too.
Cover photo courtesy of the artist. © 2000 Daniel Bonnell. Prints of cover
art are available at www.bonnellart.com.
Interpreter: Mona Bagasao-Cave