Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” ~Matthew 22

I have neighbors on the brain.  Yesterday, as I was leaving the post office, I ran into the lady who lives in the house across the street from me.  She and her hubby moved in at least 10 years ago, yet we never really got to know them.  That’s sad, isn’t it? 

She asked me if I was the author of the “wonderful poem she saw in the paper”.  When I confessed that I had, indeed, written that poem, she said she hated to ask me but she’d love to somehow get a copy to send to a friend in GA.  So, I offered to go home, print her out a copy, and walk it over to her. 

When I went over, I also took a Christmas card for her.  Such a small thing (and we had plenty of extras), yet she was so touched.  I ended up staying and visiting with her for awhile – showing an interest in her and getting to know a bit more about her.

Now, when we first moved to our neighborhood, 20 years ago now, we knew everyone on our block.  We sent  them all Christmas cards and even got together with some of them to visit in their homes.  Over the years, some have moved away, some have passed away, and new neighbors have moved in to replace the old. 

And I’m questioning myself – why is it that people aren’t as friendly with their neighbors these days?  And, is it just me?  Or is this just “the way things are” nowadays? 

In any case, I find it sad.  And I’m going to try to make a better effort to get to know my neighbors.  It might occasionally mean going out of my way to do things for them, but I think it’s what God would want, don’t you?  I mean, how many times in the Scriptures does he exhort us to “love our neighbors”?  And I honestly don’t think we can love our neighbors from inside our own homes.  I think it might require getting out of our own house – our comfort zone, as the case may be – and doing.

When I left my neighbor lady’s house yesterday, she said “Heidi, stay sweet.”  Walking across the street toward home, I felt convicted.  I was sweet to her once in 10 years.  That’s sad.  Where was I when her husband was killed on our road several years ago?  And where have I been as she has sat over there in her house, lonely and scared for the past several years? 

How are you doing at being neighborly? defines the term neighborly as “having or showing qualities  befitting a neighbor, friendly”.  And one definition of neighbor - “a person who shows kindliness or helpfulness toward his or her fellow humans”. I’d like to be described that way.  Wouldn’t you?

I’d like to encourage you today --- show some attention and love to a neighbor.  I promise, you will be the one who ends up feeling blessed!


Mary said...

Well said, Heidi. I think children are a great way to know our neighbors, too. A few months ago my friend and I had a fudge contest and we sent our kids to the neighbors seeing if they wanted to be "judges". I was amazed at the fun we had and the bridges we built!

Blessings to you! :-)

Dizdutch said...

So true

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