I’m so excited this month. My neighbor and devotion writer, Marina Bromley, has offered to share some of her thoughts, experiences, and devotionals she’s written. In fact, I’m pretty sure some she wrote especially for my blog. What a blessing. Thank you, Marina and welcome.
The first talks about being a neighbor. How appropriate as she lives directly across the street. But I’ll let her tell you.
On Being a Neighbor
By Marina Bromley, Marina’s Kitchen Table
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Luke 10:36-37 (NLT)
We are a mobile society, more now than ever. We can travel around the world in a day, with only a passport and a day’s preparation. People travel by plane, train, and automobile, and some choose to live on the road for a season (like our friend June and her husband!). Some people move often, but for longer seasons, such as military families, or because of career demands in the private sector.
As a corporate mover (someone who moves frequently for my husbands’ job) we have found ourselves crisscrossing the South and Midwest many times in the past 8 years. Our range of neighbors has varied greatly, having lived in places where the current residents greeted us before we even made an offer on a home, to having lived over a year in a home without ever meeting the people living in the houses around us.
Have you read the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke or Acts? Inasmuch as Jesus was expanding this mans’ idea of who the kinder neighbor was, He has stretched my ideas too.
Often we think of neighbors as the people living directly around us, but Jesus appears to be saying that our neighbors can be people that we happen to be near to, even momentarily. We can be “neighborly” to anyone, even someone who is crossing the street near us as we travel.
Sometimes God puts us in a place where we have an opportunity to be neighborly, where we haven’t planned on taking time, or resources, to be neighborly. It doesn’t always cost us financially, but it may cost us in kindness, a smile, or even simple as offering to hold a door open at the store.
I’ll never forget, as a young mother, just having moved across the country from California to Georgia. My husband worked in a position that required him to travel, and I was always running errands by myself, 3 kids under 3 in tow. During one frustrating outing, it began to rain as I scurried across the parking lot of a large mall. Seemingly out of nowhere, a neighborly stranger offered to escort me to the mall entrance, holding an umbrella over my head as I pushed a double stroller with an infant strapped to my chest! I understand that this was 30 years ago, and times have changed, but I think that even then it was exceptional behavior and I’d welcome it again today.
Have we become so wary of society that we are afraid to be kind to anyone? I think that the parable of the Good Samaritan was not only meant for biblical times, it’s meant for today. Let’s look for opportunities to keep our spirit in tune with His and be good neighbors, whether it’s actually helping our neighbor with a chore, or smiling at the person in front of us at the grocery store. We can listen for the Holy Spirits’ prompt on ways to assist our “neighbors” in need across town, or around the world. Some day we may just happen to end up living next door to them!
©2018 Marina Bromley, Marina’s Kitchen Table
Used with permission.