There are many lessons in the life of Samson, but here are the reasons that tugged at my heart, that cause me to make the decisions not only to make Samson but why I made him the way I did, with that "bull head" and the two women at his feet in particular. Let me enumerate these.
One was because of my own manhood and men in general. What Candace experienced was shocking for all of us but for me, a man, it had another layer. Besides all the other things like my being her father, the male need to be the protector of my family, the loss of my child itself, etc., it was also tough in that I realized that one of my own kind, a male like me, a "man" had done this to not only "us" but to "me" another man! How could he do this without realizing there would be a father, possibly male siblings and male members of the extended family who he, also being a man, was by this horrendous act betraying. This in my mind was a betrayal of all males! One of my own kind had done this to me! I could not believe my feelings and my sudden anger and disgusted with "men!" I had to do a lot of work forgiving men and forgiving myself for as one of them having such potential for evil.
This reminded me of Samson who was also a "man" who betrayed not only all men by his abuse and use of women but a whole nation of Israel who he was supposed to be as the first of a long line of "Judges", and a Nazerite, an example of moral leadership for his nation Israel.
The second reason I chose Samson had to do with one of my innocent
"commitments" as a youth. Back on the farm I attended a one room schoolhouse of around 35 kids or so students from grades 1-8 When I was in grade 7 and eight I noticed how there were some guys who's teasing of the girls often went beyond "civility." How they actually hurt the girls, shaming them, emotionally hurting them, really bullying them. As far as I was concerned they often went way too far. As a peace loving Mennonite boy I was sensitive to this and considered it intolerable behavior. So after some thought I decided I would stand up for the girls! I began to step in and defend them or protect them from the bully's. Wow, did things ever change quickly...the dynamics of all my relationships changed almost immediately.
First, To my surprise I was now an enemy of the bullies! They now had a new target to name call, tease and bully and it was me! I had not seen that coming nor the energy and violence involved!
Secondly, the girls of course now just loved me and began to run to me at any semblance of attack from these guys. This caused a kind of crowd appreciation affect on the girls part, for me. As their new hero, this included group hugs, smooches on the cheek, embraces and general fauning over me. This innocent Mennonite boy had no idea how to handle this female affection and attention. It felt wrong and embarrassing. They were way more confident in me than I was. I doubted how I could carry this off. I had no knowledge of how to deal with this development. Also it did not help when the bullies saw this avalanche of affection descending on me, now their arch enemy! This really got them going!
It all came to a head one recess when one of the bigger boys in the group began mouthing off at me, attracting the attention of students. Then he did the unexpected and challenged me to a fight! I had never fought anyone up until then. The only fights I'd seen were during NHL hockey games. There was not much fighting going on with the Waltons either!
Now you see this was a male situation, no male in our culture of manhood can decline such a challenge when made in public. Our masculinity demands we respond. Even for a peace loving Mennonite who was way over his head into something so confusing and disconcerting, could not see any other option except to except the challenge.
For me at that time this had "prove your manhood" written all over it and I succumbed the the lie and faced the enemy putting up my trembling dukes. We began circling each other. In my mind, I knew I could not win. He was bigger and stronger than me and I knew this was not his first time in the ring. My goal was to just survive as long as possible and lose in some kind of honorable way!
We circled and danced, students yelling encouragement... He was talking, calling me down, "coward," "wimp" and "girlie boy" were his main subjects. I was silent, praying for some kind of miracle like not getting killed. We came together a few times swinging wildly, mostly missing but after a few of these he hit me with a lucky punch, directly on my throat. I was done, down and out, throat muscles constricting painfully as I gasped for air. I thought I was going to die!
Regardless, despite the disaster I'd just experienced at school that day I never lost sight of my resolve never to be a bully.
I also learned that fighting was not my thing!
the vast majority of kids have been dealing with
the bullying and trying to ignore it for a long time."