The other day I took a few hours out of my busy day to put together a few freezer meals for my neighbors across the street. They just had a baby a few weeks ago, and while I don’t know them well (they only moved in a few months ago), I wanted them to know that they are welcomed in the neighborhood and that I was there for them if they needed it. Plus what a great excuse to see a cute little baby! They are a very young couple, and while I don’t have kids of my own, I may have more experience at life in general to share with them, especially when it comes to easy meal planning.
While I was in the process of putting together the freezer bags, a friend called and when I told them what I was doing they were amazed. Why? Because I was spending my own money to help out people that I hardly knew. My friend knows that money can be tight as a single woman, especially with a house and student loans, and yet here I was buying groceries for neighbors that I wasn’t “friends with.” But isn’t that what we are supposed to do? They are my neighbors, and according to God we are to “Love our neighbors as ourselves.” (Matt 22:39) I don’t know if they are Christians or Muslims or atheists, and that shouldn’t matter, my response should always be the same – to treat them the way that I would like to be treated. God’s most important commandment for us is to love – everyone and unconditionally. One thing I strive to do in my daily life is to “love the sinner, hate the sin.” While this is not always easy, my empathy for others is a blessing that God has given me and one I am called to use.
I know and have faith that God will take care of me, especially when I take care of others and show them God’s love for them, even if His name is never actually said. Maybe this small seed of neighborly love, along with other actions my neighbors may see out their windows, will prompt Godly change in their own lives. Maybe my friend, seeing my very small sacrifice of time and money, will see ways to show God’s love in their own life.
My prayer is that God continues to use me as a visual reminder of His love for us, and my actions never become a hindrance to another’s walk with Him.