Chapter 7 answers the question with…‘My Neighbor is Someone Who Is Naked”. Curious question…Do you say nay’ked? or neck’ed? Regardless…naked can mean nude, bare, unadorned, unarmed, exposed, unprotected, uncovered, stripped…to name a few. Of course, the first thing we think of is undressed! Now, depending on the situation, the naked/undressed person may be in need of a neighbor. Someone who lost their clothing while skinny dipping, perhaps. Or a woman who got caught in a rainstorm and is now in a see-through or clinging t-shirt or dress. Because of illness, someone who doesn’t even know they don’t have clothes on or are uncovered. We need to be their loving neighbor and find them cover.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were ‘outed’? People found out something about you that you didn’t want them to know. Or you were transparent one time and shared a private moment with a ‘friend’ who then used it against you, ridiculed you, told others, etc. That is a very embarrassing and vulnerable, sometimes devastating moment…and you really need a friend and neighbor at that time. We need to cover you at that time. We shouldn’t get caught up in the hatin’, gossip and talk. Instead, what if WE were the one who befriended you instead?
But, I also think of the defenseless – those who can’t help themselves. Our God has given our friend, Sara Pomeroy, a heart for people involved in Human Trafficking. Through Richmond Justice Initiative (RJI), Sara and her team are being great neighbors to victims of human trafficking. In addition, they are also providing an opportunity for others to be neighborly as well through their training and volunteer programs.
RJI is a grassroots faith based organization of modern day abolitionists committed to ending modern day slavery, commonly referred to as human trafficking.
Our approach in order to eradicate this issue is to combat this crime on all fronts, through pursuing awareness, education, prevention, advocacy, aftercare and prayer.
Gordon summarizes this chapter writing…
There are a lot of naked people in our lives. They may not be without clothes, but they have in some way been stripped of their dignity, stripped of who they are as human beings, and limited in some way from being all they ought to be and can be. They need someone to come alongside who simply will not allow them to feel embarrassed, but who intead will affirm their dignity and provided the same kind of tender, loving care offered tot he man who, many years ago, went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
Thank you Lord for providing neighbors and friends who can come alongside us when we are feeling exposed and vulnerable. Forgive us of times where we may have harmed another intentionally or unintentionally. Give us the strength to stand up for those who physically or emotionally stripped of their dignity and pride. Teach us how to love like the Good Samaritan and raise us up to be the defenders of those who are naked. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
This is the 7th post in a series that I wrote about in who’s ur neighbor?. I am reading who is my neighbor? by Wayne Gordon and exploring just one chapter a day. In addition, I hope to post on each chapter each day…starting August 1st…no promises, though. The first one in the series can be found here: Neighbor 1: Hurting.
Chapter 6 answers the question with…‘My Neighbor is Someone Who Is Half Dead”. Wow! I guess not many of us have encountered someone who is half dead. Louis and I have. On our 4th date (3 1/2 years ago), Frank got shot 9 times outside our back door. By the time the paramedics arrived, he had no pulse and was only breathing once or twice a minute. He was left for dead, but God had another plan for him. Because Louis and I were home to respond with prayer and first aid. he survived. So, Frank was our neighbor that night. As time went by, Frank and his family became more than neighbors or friends, but they are family. We love them like they are our own. It’s been a real blessing for us to know Frank, Vicky, the girls and Geraldine.
But, like yesterday’s post, Neighbor 5: Someone Who Has Been Robbed, people can also be half dead emotionally. They may not be able to experience the full life that God intended them to have. Life full of joy unspeakable and full of glory. God can use us to help breathe life into another person with our words of encouragement and love. Sometimes life is just hard…and it stinks. We need to learn how to just be be there with and for our friends when they are troubled emotionally and spiritually without judgement. Be there in love…and love alone.
Lastly, we need to be there with people who are half dead spiritually because they continue to wallow in their sin. Gordon writes…
Ephesians 2:5 tells us that God “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions –it is by grace you have been saved.” We need to resuscitate people in the our communities who are half dead and who don’t know Jesus Christ. For truly they are our neighbors.
Lord, thanks for using us as your hands and feet on Earth. You don’t need us, but you choose to use us to shine your glory. Forgive us for the times we are not paying attention, too busy or too selfish to notice who’s barely breathing around us. Open our eyes to see people around us who are walking around half dead emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Teach us how to love them like you love us…with patience, kindness, full of hope, and unconditionally. In your name we pray. Amen.
This is the 6th post in a series that I wrote about in who’s ur neighbor?. I am reading who is my neighbor? by Wayne Gordon and exploring just one chapter a day. In addition, I hope to post on each chapter each day…starting August 1st…no promises, though. The first one in the series can be found here: Neighbor 1: Hurting.