Won’t You Let Me Be Your Neighbor?

On April 1, 2012, my friend, Sara Kennedy, asked if I would speak to a group at her church about being a good neighbor…telling stories of my life in Southern Barton Heights. It was my honor to tell how God uses me and changes me through this experience. Thanks for allowing me to be part of Shalom Richmond at Stony Point Pres.

Neighbor: Feedback and Stories Request

Hey, I’ve been writing on the Neighbor Series for almost a week now and would love to get some feedback.  Please send your stories to me about how this series may have touched you or encouraged you to look at the verse… “Love your neighbor as yourself” a little differently than before.

Thanks for sharing.  Now that I am 15% through the posts, I hope to collect some of your testimonies to share with and encourage others without specific names or details.

6 down….34 days/chapters to go!  Thanks for joining me for the journey!  I really appreciate it.

If you aren’t aware of the series, take a look at who’s ur neighbor? Then, pick up with the first post at Neighbor 1: Hurting and simply read 1 a day.  It’s that simple!

May God bless you and stretch you as you read this series.

Peace, Marti

Neighbor 1: Hurting

One thing I have learned recently is that most of my posts have been WAY too long, and I am going to work on that.  So, keep me honest…and help me keep these short.

This is the first post in a series that I wrote about called 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 today…no promises, though.

Chapter 1 answers the question with…’My Neighbor is Hurting’.  Hurting is defined by physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. I could offer up many examples of hurting. I see it lots and am sure that you do to.

The Father-Wound is one that comes to mind today.  Saturday, Louis attended a gathering of men who were discussing the Father-Wound, what that looks like and how to be healed of it.  We hear of fatherless children, abused children, but many also have fathers who are physically present, but are emotionally detached, others who are deceased.  All of which creates a deep wound in the hearts of boys and girls~and then you grow up with that hurt still present.  In the spirit of keeping this short – to learn more, check out Fathered by God by John Eldredge and Healing the Father-Wound by Bishop Steven W Banks. People experiencing Father-Wounds is just one example of hurting people.

So, I challenge us today…look for people who are hurting, and see if there is a way to help your neighbor by easing their pain.  What does that look like?  It looks like sacrificing time to…

  • be a father-figure for a kid, young adult, or even a mature man who needs a father.
  • visit, call, write, etc. when the person or a loved one is sick or dying.
  • be present…sometimes without saying a word.
  • listen
  • hug them or hold their hand
  • cry with them
  • kiss a skinned knee
  • babysit…for no charge!
  • if you worship at Commonwealth Chapel, note who lights a candle, and pray for them throughout the day/week. (or however your church takes requests)
  • what else?
Gordon writes on page 19…
We can’t love our neighbors until we recognize them. So look around you.  Be sensitive to those who are suffering — who are hurting — sometimes in silence.  They will not be hard to find.  And remember, that hurting person is your neighbor.  Like the Good Samaritan, we have the option to walk away and the opportunity to love.
What will you and I choose (and I do mean choose…because we have a choice!) to do today…and every day? to walk away? or to love?  Let me hear how this works out for ya’…
Lord, you are “Jehovah-Rapha’ – God the Healer.  We worship and adore you. You don’t need us to be your hands and feet here on earth Lord, but you choose to use us. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and others. Humbly, I come before you to ask you to give us eyes to see those who are hurting.  Teach us how we can help ease their pain.  Show us how to be good neighbors.  Give us the courage to act on what you tell us to do. For those of us who are hurting, Lord, bring a loving neighbor our way, one who will bring light into our darkness.  May your name, Jesus, your name alone, be glorified. Thank you, Lord.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

who’s ur neighbor?

While attending the CCDA Immersion training, we had the opportunity to spend time with Wayne “Coach” Gordon, author of who is my neighbor?  This is an important question that we need to ask ourselves in light of what Jesus shares with us in Luke 10 ~ love God. love your neighbor as yourself.  But, how do we define ‘neighbor’?  The people who live next door to us?  on the block?  down the street?  While studying the story of the Good Samaritan, you learn who Jesus says is your neighbor.  This book helps define that.  I started reading it, and realized that it will be best read one chapter at a time.

So, starting August 1st…for 40 days….I’m going to start reading it….meditating on it…..thinking about a chapter a day.  I hope to post my thoughts each day…but, not sure that will happen.  I’ll have good intentions though!!!

Wanna join me?  Get yourself a copy and join me in the conversation.  Let me know if you do!

In the mean time…let’s take another look at Luke 10 (NIV)…The Parable of the Good Samaritan

 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

OUCH!  That kinda stings….