The Love of a Neighbor





Juicy red tomato

Have you ever had a day that was so hectic that you were running around like a chicken with your head cut off?  Sometimes, when all the dust clears, you find that in the chaos you fulfilled that picture by doing something mindless.  I have found some things in pretty odd places because I absentmindedly put down what I was holding in a crazy place.  I know when I was younger I accidentally put ice cream in the refrigerator and when I later saw the pools of melted gummy ingredients, I didn’t think I could ever eat ice cream again.  Wish I could say that resolve lasted.

Anyway, a few months ago I was having one of those mornings of insanity.  I was leading a staff meeting that day which was likely to be taken as confrontational.  I decided that a home cooked luncheon might “tame the savage beast”.  As part of a meal, I threw together a simple lettuce and tomato salad.  Food in hand, I rushed off to work.

Fast forward about 8 hours.  I walked into our home and was immediately met by my husband’s question, “Where’s the tomatoes for the tacos?”  I knew I had bought an extra one for that express purpose.  I looked through the refrigerator.  I looked in the cupboards.  I looked in my vehicle.  I looked in every logical place I could think of and then looked in ridiculous places.  Where could it be?  Finally, I gave up in defeat and cut the one little remaining wedge from the salad leftovers into tiny pieces.  I watched as my husband and son carefully divided the meager offering between them.  It was a pitiful sight but it reminded me that some people have to stretch their limited food out every day.

The funny part was that after the dishes were cleared I finally had a chance to sit down and check my emails and texts.  That is when I found a text from my next door neighbor telling me that she had left a bag of homegrown tomatoes on my front porch earlier that day.  imageI was overwhelmed with thanksgiving for this kind lady.  She went out of her way to demonstrate her love and care for my family.  I’m sure she didn’t know the impact her gesture would have on me.  She could have easily reasoned that it was too much of a hassle to go out of her way to deliver them.  She didn’t even know if we liked tomatoes.

I think it is good for me – for ALL of us – to remember that loving our neighbors as ourselves can be practiced in so many different ways.  Yes, we may have to go out of our ways to demonstrate it.  Our neighbors may not have the same taste that we do.  The important thing is just to show we care – in word and in deed!

For practical ideas as to how you can put this commandment into practice, you can check out www.howtoloveyourneighbor.com. You may have the tomatoes someone’s tacos need and the love their heart longs for!

How can you show your neighbor kindness today?

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Matthew 22:37-39 (KJV) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.


P.S. – BIG announcement: At 9PM last night I decided it was time to draw a comment name (both because it had been awhile since the last comment came in and because my brain was shutting down).  I was going to put all the names in a ‘hat’ and do a blind draw, but then I knew I’d start obsessing about whether all the draw slips were exactly the same.  So, I found a program that would draw from all eligible names (excluding my replies).  And the grand winner of the journal is: Diana!  Diana, please contact me privately and tell me how you want your journal sent.  To everyone: I loved each and every focus of thanksgiving.  It made me reflective on my own blessings.  What a great way to start the month of Thanksgiving!

 



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