“Love your neighbor as yourself”- Mark 12:31
Do we even know our neighbors?
Mr. Rogers had it right. No, I’m not talking about his questionable (but comfortable)sense of style or the imaginary land of puppets that lived in his house. I’m talking about how he truly embodied a friendly neighbor. He was kind, caring, compassionate, and always wanted to learn more about his neighbors– What were they up to? How did they live? What were their interests? Celebrating diversity! He cared enough about the people around him to inquire, and learn about them as a person.
I think we are missing out on this in today’s society. Hey, I’m not perfect either, and there have been many times when my neighbors wave at me (and of course I wave back) but I feel no urgency to step out and walk a few feet to actually speak to them, and ask how their day is going or what is new in their lives.
I recently had a kind neighbor offer to stain my deck for me (free of charge–but requested some homemade desserts-lol). He began to tell me about our other neighbor across the street, who just last month lost her daughter to cancer. She is older and not in the best health herself, and is now responsible for her grandson and granddaughter. I had no idea. And I felt bad.
I am going to cook a meal for my grieving neighbor, and offer my condolences for her loss. Can I help her in any way? I can ask. I have only met her once–but I’ve learned that nobody usually refuses free food (me being at the top of that list).
I think this sense of community can start in our own backyards. Can we stop avoiding our neighbors and step out and simply say hello? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We never know what people are going through. Not only that, but the second highest commandment in the Bible is to love your neighbor, just as you love yourself. So, right behind loving God with your whole heart is…loving your neighbor.
How can you show love to your neighbor today? (Maybe bring in their trash can, mow their lawn, offer an ear to listen…you decide!) I will work on this too and take my own advice, as we continue to learn together on this life journey.
Keep loving & learning! 🙂