Lift up your neighbors

You shall not see your neighbor’s donkey or ox fallen on the road and ignore it; you must help in lifting it up.
— Deuteronomy 22:4

Sisters & Brothers,

A series of coincidences created this letter to you all last night. Here's some background before we get into it. Every night I I observe the spiritual practice of Lectio Divina which is Latin for Divine Reading. Essentially it's the practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer which increased the knowledge of the word of God and seeks to increase our communication with God. At any rate the quote above is part of the scripture I fell upon last night and it struck a chord with me because earlier in the day I had watched the video below.

After watching the video and reading the quote at the top of my letter you should be able start to understand the coincidence I'm referring to. I've been dwelling on these two things for the past day and the theme of helping one another continues to bubble to the surface.

Even if you don't believe in God I believe that we are all called to help our fellow neighbor in their times of need. The term "I'd give you the shirt off my back" is a great testament to this thought. How many of us actually live by that notion? How many of us say to someone "whatever you need let me know" and don't actually mean it? So if you don't mean it are you just stroking your ego to feel good about yourself or feel like you said the right thing?

I feel that this is one of those areas that we as humans can improve upon. How many times have you walked by someone on the street looking for money? I understand why you might not want to give that person your money, perhaps you don't have any cash on you, you're worried where that cash might go, etc. All worthy answers. But what about buying that person a bottle of water, some coffee, etc? Sure it might not be what that person is looking for in the long run but you don't know that and probably won't ever know that. But that small gesture just lifted up your neighbor even if just for a moment and that's what counts.

Still don't want to help someone out on the streets? What about volunteering at a nursing home or a hospice? It will change your life, I promise. Giving some of yourself to someone else is a humbling thing in a world where we all could use a health dose of humility every now and then.

All I am asking is that you think a little more about what you can actually do for your neighbors and when you tell someone "I'd give you the shirt off my back" you mean it. Actions speak far louder than your words ever could.



Photo by Alex Boyd on Unsplash