My patient, kind, and loving husband sometimes gets frustrated with me. When there are too many options set before me, I tend to check out. 6 different things on the menu I might like causes me to shut down. If he won’t chose for me, I attempt to get the server to guide my choice.
Words, thoughts, and ideas all top my list of favorite things. I love reading and seek to devour my favorite authors. Sometimes, however, I get overwhelmed. Perhaps I’m not the only one?
No one would argue that caring for orphan babies is a Biblically mandated task. Feeding the hungry, providing water to the parched, and tending to the sick are all things we witness Christ doing in Scripture. The authors I read highlight individuals who are living out these callings, and I am left questioning my contribution.
I’m slow to learn, but little by little God is teaching me that our mission as believers can be less conspicuous, but no less useful to His kingdom.
We’ve had a lot of storms in the area, hitting our neighborhood hard. On the way to work Friday morning I noticed a tree almost blocking the driveway, but I was able to get around it. I whispered a prayer of thanks for my tiny miracle, then promptly forgot all about it until later that day.
Jay & I met a client for dinner, and through the window of the restaurant, I notice flashes of lighting as yet another storm passed through the county. When we arrived home, our neighbors from down the street were in our driveway.
Turns out, my miracle-not-blocking-the-driveway tree had been taken care of by them the night before. They’d done just enough so I wouldn’t have trouble going to work, then moved on to other pressing matters in the subdivision. Friday they came back to finish the job later, after more storms and more trees falling.
In my mind, neighbors giving of themselves asking nothing in return is no less a miracle than supernatural intervention.
A quick Google search of potential ministries for a Christ follower landed me on a mega church website with over 200 different ministries to choose from. In contrast, my start-up church of 8 people offers Sunday worship and sometimes coffee & conversation afterward. In both cases, finding a service niche proves difficult and overwhelming.
Our command is clear, if not specific:
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27
When questioned, Jesus provides an answer to the “Who is my neighbor?” question, but not a template for service. The Samaritan in the parable doesn’t seek out a charity, doesn’t go out on a crusade, or set out on-mission.
What’s notable about this exemplary character is his action when encountering a need. His day didn’t start with a dramatic flourish or bold speech. In fact, the only words credited to him are a financial commitment for the injured man’s care.
For the moment at least, my calling doesn’t involve moving into the wilderness like a modern-day John the Baptist. Instead, I’m called to love my neighbor, quite literally. I currently serve on my communities Home Owners Association as treasurer. Through this service, Jay and I have found ourselves a part of the chapel ministry just up the creek from our home.
While none of our paths look exactly the same, we can learn and grow from the testimonies of others. In my friend circles, I see a wide range of love-in-action. A few examples include:
- A mom, navigating the waters of an autism diagnosis for her son
- A daughter-in-law, preparing an extra room for her husband’s father to live with them
- A coworker who bravely agreed to lead Bible School for her church
I’m still trying to figure out what exactly it looks like in my life, but I pray I’m open to service when I pass it on the sidewalk.
What does loving your neighbor look like in your world?