It’s confession time. This one hit me around 3am this morning. Matthew 19:19 says “…love thy neighbor as thyself”. Am I the only one in the world that applies my own, sad, theology to this verse by saying; “Jesus didn’t really mean our next door neighbors because they didn’t have cul-de-sac’s back then.” Please tell me I’m not the only one….please?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I run and hide when I see my neighbors, I just know, deep down that I don’t follow that verse nearly enough. Then it happens, the neighborhood association sends out an email that informs you that the very people living next door have been rocked with the news of cancer. The compassion side of me immediately kicks in and I want to know what I can do to help.

Did you catch that? You would think that if I really followed Matthew 19:19, I would have already known about this devastating news. Maybe our family would have been the one they called when they needed someone to cry with.  We could have already been preparing their meals and taking care of their children. Maybe we would have been the ones that could have prayed with them, no matter where they are spiritually. Why does it take a tragedy for me to commit those verses to heart and suddenly be or show what I should have all along?

Lord, give me the courage to really love my neighbors long before tragedy knocks on any of our doors. Hold that family in your care and be their comforter, protector and healer, as only you can.