God’s basic rules, His commandments, are easy to remember. The foremost is loving Him with all we have. Mark 12:31 states: “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Who is our neighbor?
We too might ask Jesus. How might He reply?
A group of unkempt individuals was stranded by the side of a major road one Sunday morning. There was a man and woman, an old woman, three children, a baby, and an younger man. They may have been a family, but there was really no way to tell for certain. Also in this drama was a scraggly female dog, a mutt, weighed down by her milk and 5 small pups scurrying to get a place to feed.
The group was in obvious distress. The woman was sitting on a tattered suitcase, hair uncombed and matted down, clothes in complete disarray, a whole series of tattoos showing. She had a glazed look in her eyes, holding the smelly, diaper laden, poorly clad, wailing baby.
The man was unshaved, dressed in coveralls with no shirt, with multiple body piercings, a cigarette dangling from his mouth, a look of despair as he tried to corral the younger children. One young boy was urinating in the gutter of the street in full view of the world. The other two children were yelling and hitting each other, also pelting each other with small stones found in the gutter.
To top in all off, the old woman was trying valiantly to cradle in her lap the head of the young man whose emaciated body was sprawled across the concrete curb and sidewalk, no soft grass in sight to comfort his body. The young man exhibited all the signs of the last stages of AIDS. The mutt and her pups were alternating cycling around these two on the curb, seeming to know the desperation of the situation, and yet trying to settle down for a feeding.
Beside them all, an ancient two door F-150, complete with tattered lawn chairs in the bed, enormous rust holes, countless multi-colored patch attempts, smelling of burning oil and smoke, had obviously just given up the ghost.
Sweat ran liberally off each member of this motley crew. It was a full sun August day and about 95 muggy degrees, and cooling rains had been missing in the drought that was upon the area. No shade was anywhere to be found. Again, there was no way to be certain they were a family of any type, maybe just a collection of people. A faint smell of marijuana hung in the air to anyone that might pass by.
Down the road came a car driven by the senior pastor of a major local church, on his way to Sunday services. And although the man on the side of the road, perhaps being the father, waved frantically and shouted loudly, the pastor couldn’t hold up his congregation.
So, using the volume control in the steering wheel of his late model Expedition SUV, his latest praise music CD was adjusted upward, as the in dash GPS system noted his position. He glanced away to left, with the air conditioning blowing in his hair, and acted as if he didn’t see them.
Soon after another car approached, and again the man (father?) waved furiously. But the car was driven by the president of the local Bible College, and he was late for a statewide meeting of Bible College presidents in the nearby convention center on the edge of the city. He, too, acted as if he did not see the group, but he just stared straight ahead.
Shortly afterward, the next car that came by was driven by an outspoken local atheist, who also happened to be the state’s head spokesperson for Gay and Lesbian Pride movement. He was a practicing homosexual, and his flamboyant partner, also an atheist and noted abortionist, was sitting next to him in the light tan leather seat.
When they saw the group’s distress, they immediately swerved to the right, stopped and pulled right up to the curb. They jumped out of their Lexus SUV, and immediately began loading the people into their vehicle.
After inquiring of their need, the homosexuals took them to the local Hilton, where they spent a considerable time getting them settled in and cleaned up. Next, they paid for two weeks lodging for the entire group of people, also making provision for all their meals and incidentals with the Innkeeper.
The AIDS infected man was transported a bit later by the men to the local hospice, and when he died two weeks later, they provided a grave site and memorial marker paid in full.
Even the mutt and her pups were taken by the men into their own home, after receiving top treatment at the vet. The atheist homosexuals helped the man find work through the local secular job agency. They even paid for a rental van for the man. They also gave $500 cash to the woman for food and new clothes for the entire family, driving her around town to three thrift stores to get the best deals.
And lastly, they ferried the young children to and from Vacation Bible School during the week since the family had a budding interest in spiritual matters.
So, then, which of these proved to be a neighbor?
Go, and do the same. Luke 10:36-37
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Your friend and brother in fighting the good fight,
Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
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