Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Love Your Neighbor...

Love your neighbor. 

I arrived early.
I parked...and something told me to back up to the next house.
So I backed up....with no real reason. That something turned out to be Someone.
Since I had time to kill...I decided I would do my Bible Study.
It was on "Loving your neighbor."
Easy peasy huh??

I answered the questions....shut the book and my Bible...and made my on to the bike rodeo at a precious local elementary school.

These kids were not kidding around about this deal. 
It was as intense as it was adorable and I may or may not have bit my nails while my two favorite participants rode through the dreaded figure 8.

And fine, I may have gotten a little teary as I watched and heard the kids cheering for each other. 
It was pretty sweet, to watch my Bible Study lesson play out...loving our neighbors.

So I left with a great feeling....having my faith restored in people with faces like this and many others that were easy to love....

As I approach my car...I am accosted by a big cranky man, aka child if God- 
Who broke in to a mild soliloquy, about how "incredibly offensive the bumper sticker on my car was to him!"

Love my neighbor....shoot!!!

This one God?
He sounds really aggressive and disrespectful....and I'm all alone here.

And that's when God made Himself known. (Although, not exactly as I would have planned it.) The is when the man saw "it" and pointed with disdain....
The Fish. 

My shiny clean Jesus loving car and it's dad gummed fish.

"If God is for us, who can be against us." ~Romans 8:31
Looks like I was not alone after all.
Well, this is just, I have a whole new problem on my hand....
The guy knows I am Christian....which I might add he was not exactly, ummmm, inspired by.
My first clue was his accusation that he was, "disgusted that I was probably one of those proselytizers that hates Muslims."

This is a good one God. 
I began searching my memory....for an escape clause in the maybe somewhere in the verse it said..."you don't need to love the hostile maniacs who interrupt a perfectly lovely morning with good friends, watching cute kids try to ride as slow as cold molasses....
but your neighbor...." (For the record, I did not locate this part of the verse.)

My choices were limited....I could blow a gasket....or burst in to tears.

I listened to my "neighbor" rant and rave. And then, I listened some more. 
He informed me that "he took plenty of pictures of my car, the sticker and my license plate!" 
(Apparently he is trying to get a job as the world's most boring photographer.)

I prayed.
I stuck my hand out and shook his, as I looked him square in the eye and said have a nice day.

Why? Because I was raised right.
His response? "I'm still deeply offended!" 
Yes, I got that.

Lest you think I was saintly, be glad I am not typing what was going thru my head...none of which is fit for a public blog connected to a church.
(Although, you should know it was goooooood......
I was quick. I was funny and I was smart. Also, in my head, he looked like this, but I was holding the axe.)

My head was about to explode....I then saw that our God was a God of details.
The man lived in the home, that God had asked me to move my car from the front of.

"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; 
He will never leave you not forsake you." ~Deuteronomy 31:8

As the man faded into my rear view mirror...I felt confused and oddly hurt. I had been polite with my mouth and actions...but not in my heart. There is a big difference.
So, my emotions for the rest of the day, came across as angry- and much worse, they came out sideways on an innocent friend, who I love to pieces.

Then they came across judgmentally on an entire group of people, who I judged unfairly...
Ironically, just like what the man had done to me.

God was clear with me on this one.
He straightened me out smack dab in the middle of Julian Gold.

He might as well have called me right up right there. That's right- there we and Jesus right in between Laura Mercier and Estée Lauder.
I hadn't been obedient...and was reminded that evil prowls around and knows our weak spots. It robs and lies. 

Love your neighbor means - love you neighbor. Period. 

God says, I pick the neighbor.... 
You don't. 

You aren't a victim of a neighbor...
You aren't to take your mood out on your neighbor...
You aren't to put a group of neighbors in one basket and judge them...

You love your neighbor.

I learned a hard and humbling lesson on being judgmental. 

God, Thank You for Your Grace....thank You for the people that extend it. 
May I always be one of them.

In His Dust,


1 comment:

Tinka Langfeld said...


Well said, and so true. Daily I try to do God's will of loving my neighbor, and though I fall down alot, I will continue to do so. Thanks for the inspiration.