Life’s Lessons

Love your neighbor

Who is my neighbor?

Is it the one who lives next door? Down the street? Across the mile? While the dictionary (yes, I still own one of those) says, “one living near another,” I rather like this down-to-earth definition I once heard: Your neighbor is anyone you would let pull you out of the ditch.

Well, that widens the term, doesn’t it? I guess I would let just about anybody pull me out of the ditch. The Gospel of Mark tells us to love our neighbor (Mark 12:31) and calls this a commandment second only to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength.”

Sometimes that can be quite a struggle.

The following story was told in the Steve Hartman segment of the Friday evening CBS news.

Although they did not truly neighbor, as in visiting or borrowing a cup of sugar, the gentleman lived next door to a young family in which the father was in the military. Every evening after supper that military dad and his four-year-old son took their ball into the yard to play for a while. It was a joyous, memorable father-son bonding experience.

Then, as happens in today’s world, the father was deployed. The neighbor saw him leave and witnessed the tearful good-bye. It was heart-breaking but necessary. He wondered how the little boy would cope without his dad’s presence but he went on about his business.

He went to work as usual, returned home as usual, had his supper as usual.

Shortly later, there was an unusual knock on his door. He never had company so he wondered who it could be.

Answering the knock, he found the little boy from next door with his ball looking for someone to play with him. They went into the yard and played ball.

It happened again the next evening, and the next, and the …

The neighbor states it will continue until the boy’s dad comes home. Now, that’s being a caring, loving neighbor!

Yes, love your neighbor. You may not be playing ball with his children, but there are many ways to express your love. It’s a great way to share your testimony for Christ, often without words which many of us find so hard to say. Letting your light shine, letting your life speak may be the very best way to reach others for Christ.

Many of you have been loving neighbors in praying for Arron and in asking about his well-being. He is recovering amazingly well and rapidly but, with a fractured pelvis, the road to full recovery will be long, and to an 18-year-old active young man, boring. He is now in intensive therapy and still has a long way to go, so please continue to pray.

Love your neighbor