Mark 12:30-31 (New International Version)
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”
She is your neighbor. She lives in that house down the street where the grass gets a little tall in the summer. The sidewalks remain covered in snow a little longer than most of the homes in your area. During your early morning drive you'll see her outside in her housecoat and slippers sweeping the porch. Even on a warm summer day she wears a heavy sweater.
Every so often you see her walking down the street with her fold-up push cart heading toward the grocery store. For the most part she is invisible to the world. She has become a part of the scenery. She goes about her daily routines asking for nothing from the world. And the world responds by doing nothing for her.
The truth is she could die tomorrow and you most likely wouldn't even miss her.
"They're selling that old house down the street. You know, where that old lady lived."
"I saw a sign at the grocery store. They're having a garage sale. God, I bet there's some great old stuff in there. Let's make a point to go Saturday. We'll get there early for some real bargains."
By the end of that Saturday, when the last piece of her life has been sold, she will be but a memory for someone. Her worth to whatever family members laid claim to her property, will be in dollars and cents. She was just passing through this life, biding her time.
"How sad," you say to yourself.
How sad indeed. Sad that you never got to know her.
If you had taken the time to say "hello" one day you would have been blessed. Perhaps walking the down the street one early summer's eve you would have seen her sitting on the old oak rocking chair you got at a bargain price the day they auctioned off her life. That chair was hand made by her Father. He came to America with the skill of a craftsman and raised her and her seven siblings with his bare hands. Her Momma sat in that chair and breast fed every one of them. She made their clothes, baked bread everyday and tended to a large garden that they depended on for fresh vegetables.
This mysterious old lady was married once for what would have been a lifetime for most of us. Her husband died years ago, but not before he paid the last payment on the home she lived in.
Children? They had seven kids and raised them on hand-me-downs and fresh garden vegetables. Two died at an early age, one in a car accident when he was just a teen. The others went on to college and scattered across the U.S. in search of big dollars, big homes and little respect for who gave them life and everything they had today.
Except for a few photographs that they split among themselves as tokens of the "good old days" they each received their portion of the estate and went on with their lives.
Some where in her possessions they found an envelope filled with cash. On it was written the words, "I couldn't spend your money." For they would send her checks to pay someone to cut the grass and shovel the sidewalk.
She did it herself.
She had no living relatives and very few friends to visit her. The ones still around were tucked away in nursing homes she couldn't get to visit.
Yes, how sad it is that you didn't take the time to say hello. You would have met an honest to goodness Angel here on earth.
We are each guilty of not taking the time to meet our neighbors, let’s make an effort to meet those angels that God has placed around us.
“We are each other's angels; let’s take the time to meet."
Dear Lord we pray that we would be the neighbor that You want us to be. Help our eyes be open to those around us that we may show Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.