Day 6 February 23 – [S] Do something kind for a neighbor
RO: Jesus chooses a bunch of nobodys. They were mess-ups. He chooses them anyways because He sees in them something and He believes that despite the fact they mess up… He knows they have what it takes to follow after Him. The hope of being called, of Jesus calling nobodys… it is really hopeful. // Jesus looks at you and He sees your value and your worth and it is not tied to what you’ve done or what you could do. // What does it mean to be chosen? Jesus chooses us when we’re nobodys. // What would it mean if Jesus asked you to come and follow?
Leviticus 19: 1-2, 11-18
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 25: 31-46
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. // Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me. // Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.
“Do something kind for a neighbor.” Hmm. This shouldn’t be so hard, should it? It is not that I wouldn’t want to help my neighbor if they needed help. But rather it is a challenge because I don’t know my neighbors well enough to know what they need. Pitiful.
I thought “Too bad it didn’t snow today. I could have shoveled someone’s sidewalk.” That would have been “the easy way out”. Sure, it’s a nice thing to do. They would have appreciated it. But that was the least I could have done.
Nevermind, the least I could have done is what I did do – nothing. Pitiful.
Now I do know four of my neighbors. I know their names. We occasionally chat. We have helped each other in a few small ways. But to sit down on some random day (today) and do something kind for them – Well that is a struggle. Do I know what they need? No. Do I know if they would want something simple like cookies? No. (Because perhaps they gave up cookies for Lent or are diabetic or on a diet; any limited number of reasons someone would not want a cookie.)
I asked my husband if my kind thing could be to just talk to them. But did I then make an effort to even do this small thing? No. I did not. It was below zero degrees outside, I got busy taking care of Nora, and stayed self-centered in my own little world. Also, it seems disingenuous to force an act of kindness. See – It is so easy to justify not doing the right thing.
So I have pledged to myself that this act will occur. Maybe not today (definitely not today), probably not tomorrow, but some time in the coming months when I see that opportunity to do something for them I will be doing it to fulfill this Lenten service. It’s the least I should do.
God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Part 2: What is a “neighbor” anyways? A neighbor is anyone in need. There are plenty of people in need every day, all around us. We should be vigilant to “Do something kind for a neighbor” at every opportunity. For every opportunity is an invitation from God for us to share in His love. Why would we ever not do the thing that calls us to serve Him? Let us be strong enough to say “Yes” to the opportunities God gives us to show Him we love Him and want to be with Him.
To show God how much we love Him let us love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Part 3: The one thing I did today was to call the Operation Safety Net office to find out if the winter clothes they need could be bought at Goodwill and what their drop-off hours are. I didn’t yet ‘do’ the thing of buying the clothes. But I at least did step one to set me on the path, which sometimes is all God is asking of us — be open to Him, let Him in, let Him work in us and let Him guide us to where He would love for us to go.
Continue to Day 7