Many 30+ year olds remember the kind gentleman who sang every afternoon, “Won’t you please, won’t you please, won’t you be…my neighbor?” Yes, it was a bit cheesy, but Mr. Rogers showed a gentleness and meekness that translated into being a neighbor who recognized the needs of people around him. When Mr. Greenjeans had a project and needed help, we went to help. We observed and participated every town event showing our love and encouragement. Being in a small T.V. community does make it much easier to participate in all things.
Now days, we tend to stay so busy that we only have time to think of our immediate family and their needs. Even then, not having the appropriate “snack” for my boys means I don’t care about them. Some of us would find it easy to do for our friends and those we know. Not too many folks think about the needs of those around the world. I typically practice, not by choice, “out of sight, out of mind”. So I really don’t see or feel the basic needs of those around the world. As we will up shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse, I really don’t have a clue to the excitement and amazement of those receiving these gifts. Heard about a pastor from Zimbabwe telling about how he has to explain every item in a shoebox to children, because they have never seen a bar of soap, a toothbrush, a yo-yo, a pack of colored pencils. Even more sadly, these kids have not seen colors like the ones packed in there boxes. How often do we consider the marvels of a home, a blanket, cup of coffee, of to drive to the store to buy whatever we need?
Jesus says that our neighbor isn’t necessarily the “church-goer” or the one that looks like we do. In Luke 10, a man was robbed and left to die in the road. A priest walked by and a Levite walked by trying not notice because that would inconvenience them too much. Then a Samaritan (someone with a different ethnic background that was frowned upon in those days) saw the man dying in the road and helped him. He looked past his color, social status, and economic standing. At that moment he was a dying man. The Samaritan is considered the neighbor because he did what needed to be done.
Do we stand up for injustice? Do we protect the feelings of others? Do we go out of our way to help people? Do we go the extra mile to help? This will cost you something. It cost the Samaritan time, money, and inconvenience of his plans for that day. But think of the reward. The Samaritan is a hero in the Bible, the greatest, most popular book in the world. You may not get the recognition like he did but God will greatly recognize you!