Sunday, May 2, 2010
Loving your neighbors
Isn’t it sad that we are living in a time where neighbors can live on the same street for years but never speak a word to one another? Or a family can eat dinner every night but not speak a word? It seems we have more fellowship with our televisions, cell phones and iPods than we do with our family and neighbors. We can also work next to someone for over a year and never know anything about them.
You never know what the person next to you is going through. The woman behind you in the grocery line, the clerk at the pharmacy that you see every week, the man that you drive by standing on the bus stop carrying that same plastic bag every morning. No one speaks anymore. No one pays attention.
We all have a story. We all are children of God. Although we may appear as strangers, we all our fellow brothers and sisters.
Sometimes when I am waiting to get my oil changed or to pick up my prescriptions, I find myself pulling out my cell phone to play brick-breaker, check my email or log onto Facebook. I have had to catch myself a few times and put away the phone and look over at the person across from me. I often wonder, “What is their story?”
There are those who wear stress on their face because they are too exhausted to care or there are those that look put together, so much as though they are trying hard to cover up whatever struggle lies beneath. There is usually a very awkward silence in the atmosphere. It’s almost as if people are attempting not to speak; although if you pay close attention, they have a desperation that longs for fellowship. A simple hello or a smile during their busy day can make a huge difference. They always appear as if they are longing for something, somewhere.
I think, “Well, if they aren’t gonna speak, I will.” Then, true to my country charm, (a cute way of saying I love to talk) I’ll say something light-hearted and positive like, “I like your shirt” or “Isn’t the weather beautiful?” They usually respond and the next thing you know, you are talking about gardening or the Colts game last week. When it’s finally time to go, you are both laughing and smiling and when you get up to leave, the awkward silence is no longer present. Everyone seems to be speaking and amazingly, they have smiles on their faces and you walk in to greet your family in a better mood than you were 30 minutes ago.
Isn’t it funny how one single effort can be contagious?
Scripture speaks a great deal about feeding the hungry. It is both literal and metaphoric. There are many that are poor in spirit that are suffering from hunger pangs of a starving spirit. If you see someone hungry for fellowship, feed them! We were created in the image and likeness of God. God longs for communion and we inherited that from our father.
Even if the person rejects your invitation for fellowship, don’t lose heart. We are responsible for what we offer and the other is responsible for what they accept or deny. It is what lies on the heart that counts.
I encourage you this week to pay closer attention to your fellow brothers and sisters. Attempt to look at them through Gods eyes. Smile at everyone you come in contact with, speak to everyone that you have an opportunity to speak to. You will notice the difference in the atmosphere, your mood, others mood and most importantly, you never know who may disguised as that stranger! Don’t miss out on your blessings!
Have a blessed week!
“Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it” Hebrews 13:1-2
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:25
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