Well, I always think of my neighbor as the person living close to me, which consists of my family, and the people who live in my neighborhood. Now, it is easy for me to establish a good relationship with my family, but not so easy with the strange people who live in my neighborhood! Did I call them strange? Sorry, they probably think I am the strange one!
See, the thing is, I live in a very multicultural neighborhood; I have neighbors who are Asian, Indian, Latino, African-American and many others. Even though we say “Hi!” with a big smile when we see each other at the park, or when we are taking the trash containers outside to the curb on trash pickup day, there is no denying we all are afraid to get a little closer and start a conversation. Could it be the language barrier or the cultural differences? Or maybe it’s the way we look? We are so different, yet we have so much in common (I can spend some time sharing stories here) but I can say from my part, God has given me the opportunity to meet some of my neighbors, and boy, let me tell you, I love them! Don’t get me started with the talking, because I can talk! Language for me is not a problem; I can find a way to have a conversation with almost anybody… sometimes a little too much conversation.
Although having a conversation is easy, how about loving our neighbors unconditionally? That’s a challenge because others don’t always do things the way I do. They don’t take care of their front yard, and their dog is always pooping in my yard. And what’s with their driving? Can’t they see there are kids playing outside? And it’s not even a through street, people! (Sorry, a little drama here). Anyway, serious talk, something I really do for my neighbors (other than be forgiving) and it might be strange for some, is that I pray for them. Really, it never gets old, I do not pray for God to change them and their ways, but to change me and the way I relate to them. To see them the way God sees them and to love them the way He loves them. And God has answered many times. Over the years I have been invited to pray, counsel, comfort, and even do some cooking with some of my now friends! Through prayer God has opened the door for me to share of his love!
Who is your neighbor, and how are you showing the love of Christ to your neighbor?
“Love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:39