Last winter saw a decent amount of snow here in the foothills of NC. We had bread. We had milk. What we did not have was a snow shovel or a plow. But our neighbor, Sam, did. And every time we ventured out of the house (which was often, since my husband believes it is his personal responsibilty to crunch and slush through every bit of lily white snow), we came home to a clean driveway. There were clean driveways all over our street, all courtesy of Sam and his tractor. Sam, who has a heart condition and really shouldn't be plowing his own driveway, much less everyone else's. Sam, who goes from snow plowing for the neighborhood in the winter, to grass mowing for the neighborhood in the summer. Now, I don't know Sam's motivation–maybe he has cabin fever, maybe he just likes being on his John Deere, maybe he likes the fresh air, or maybe, just maybe, he cares about his neighbors.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 is National Good Neighbor Day. Challenge yourself to do something nice for your neighbor, keeping in mind that your neighbors aren't just those who live in your area. As Christians, we are to view everyone, either friend or foe, as our neighbor. The scripture reminds us that this is not merely a suggestion, but the second greatest act of obedience for a Christian.
And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' “The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.” (NASB, Mark 12:28-31)
So, take time to bake a little something extra to share, pick up a grocery gift card for the struggling single mother, offer to play taxi for a senior adult, babysit for new parents, pick the newspaper from the end of the drive, walk it to your neighbor's door, ask how they are, and pause to really listen to their answer. With the scripture in your heart and Mr. Rogers' words in your head, strive to go out of your way to be a good neighbor.
“So, let's make the most of this beautiful day
Since we're together we might as well say
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?” (Fred Rogers)