Due to Covid-19 and the announcement from our government officials, all church service gatherings will be postponed till a later date.

The Neighbor That Cares

The majority of our neighbors have treated us kindly over our many years of being homeowners. Neighbors have always been there to lend a helping hand. One example that stands out in my mind was when we lived in Minneapolis in the fall when leaves were everywhere. I forgot that the city was coming by early one morning to sweep the leaves from our corner lot. I was snug in my bed ready to doze off when I suddenly sat up and exclaimed, ‘Oh my goodness, the sweepers are coming in the morning!” Our children were young at the time and my husband was out of town. So, I jump out of bed in my PJ’s, slipped on my shoes, ran outside, grabbed the rake, and starting raking leaves from our corner lot to the street. Did I mention it was eleven o’clock at night!

My neighbors saw me raking feverishly as they looked out their window, and asked, “Crazy woman, what are you doing?” I broke out laughing as I told them I had to get the leaves to the street before morning! They laughed and said, “If you’re crazy enough to rake leaves this time of night, we must be crazy as well!” So, to make a long story short we finished raking leaves a little past midnight and had fun doing it. All of us were in our PJ’s laughing, talking, and raking leaves.

Webster’s dictionary defines a neighbor as one being immediately adjoining or relatively nearby, and Jesus gave the perfect example of this type of neighbor in the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). A man was savagely beaten on the side of the road and possibly left for dead. Three men of different occupations walked by and saw him in distress. The first, a priest, a man of the cloth, looked at his Jewish brother lying on the road and crossed over to the other side as if this poor guy was contagious. The second man was a Levite, one who serves in religious duties with political and educational responsibilities. I can see him shaking his head with the look of disgust telling the beaten and bruised man, “You are so pitiful looking,” as he passed to the other side.

Then a third man, a Samaritan, walked by on his way to do business as well. Samaritans and Jews did not get along at all. Jews considered them to be low in status and having no value, so there was very little interaction between them. But when the Samaritan saw the badly beaten Jewish man, he had compassion on him, and never took into consideration who he was or where he was from. All this “good” Samaritan saw was a “neighbor” in desperate need. As the story goes, he washed the wound with his own wine, soothed it with his own oil, bound it with his own linen, put him on his own animal, carried him to a hotel, and paid for his care.

Jesus was making a point to the lawyer who asked, and to you and me: “Don’t ask, who is my neighbor, but rather, am I a neighbor who cares!”