Who is your ‘neighbor’?
”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.” “You answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
The Scripture goes on to say that the man who “answered correctly” also asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
This question is reminiscent of an encounter I had a few years ago while driving on Interstate 87 North. Traffic was backed up for miles. I wondered if an accident had occurred. But, in the absence of emergency vehicles, I was baffled as to what could cause such a delay. I thought, Is a construction zone ahead?
Moving ever so slowly, I finally saw the problem: a distressed woman, in a stalled car, blocking the right lane. I longed for my opportunity to “rubberneck”!
I looked directly into her eyes and was surprised to see my next–door neighbor! She said, “Warren. Something’s wrong with my car….” I pulled over, got out, and used her car’s own weight to roll it out of the way and onto the shoulder.
A state trooper arrived, thanked me, and then said, “I’ll take it from here.” I bade farewell to them and went on my way.
Today, I ask myself, Had she been a stranger, would I have reacted the same way, or would I have simply kept on going—as did at least 100 other drivers before me?
In Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, our Lord redefines the word neighbor as any person who needs God’s mercy and our help. This understanding is crucial today, as people are taught to avoid strangers at all costs and are more likely to shoot a video of a person in trouble rather than to lend a helping hand.
In this Good News! you’ll read a compelling article (“We’re the leaders we’ve been waiting for,” page 3). It calls us to be innovative, courageous, and caring. Authors Annie Liang and Steffon Davis ask, “Are we serving with our ‘sleeves rolled up’ today?”
Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last (a tenet of the U.S. Marine Corps), wrote that true leadership requires sacrifice. Even parents realize that leadership frequently costs us our sleep, our comfort, our pride, and our personal desires as we ensure the safety and the destiny of people in our care.
I hope you enjoy the stories herein. May you give all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind to the Lord Jesus. And then—love your neighbor as yourself.
by Warren L. Maye