Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I can remember a time long ago when life moved at a much slower pace. Neighbors actually knew each other… and were a part of each others’ lives.

All the neighborhood children would gather in the vacant lot beside my house where we could play our game of choice. Sometimes it would be baseball, football, or cowboys and Indians. Sometimes we would just play hide-and-seek.

Most of the moms kept an eye on the “brood”… and each of the kids ran home for supper when our individual “Mom” shouted our name.

If an illness, a job lay-off, an accident, or a death occurred in the neighborhood, there would be phone calls, visits, food brought in, and offers of assistance of all kinds. These people all reached out to each other and took the time to minister to one another. They shared what they had… even if it wasn’t a lot… back in the days of no air conditioners, microwave ovens, or fast food.

Ten years ago, I fell and broke my ankle as we prepared to take my daughter to the hospital to give birth to my granddaughter. Friends, family and church family were faithful to call, come by, and do all they could to meet our needs. My church has always been faithful to care for their own. All churches don’t share that habit.

In 1998, life had become much busier and the world more complex than the one I had known as a child… yet somehow these busy, two career families still found a way to reach out and be “the hand of Christ” extended to my family.

Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear ye one another's burdens”… - Sympathize with, and assist each other, in all your weaknesses, difficulties, tests, grievances, trials....“and so fulfill the law of Christ”. - The law of Christ is the law of love: something our Lord heartily recommends. Love is the thing He makes the distinguishing mark of one who is His disciples.

Today… ten years later… I am witness to others in need… going through trial after trial… going without notice. Has life become such a hurried thing that the “body of Christ” has stopped reaching out to those with whom they share pews on a regular basis? Do physical and emotional needs go ignored?

Sometimes all that is needed is a phone call from someone who cares. Just a word of kindness when one has reach the “end of their rope” can help them “tie a knot and hang on”.

There are families who are hurting… and in need of an encouraging word… who hear nothing from those who are supposed to be their “brothers and sisters in Christ”. They face tests and difficulties without notice... from pastor or layperson alike.

*** “Lord, When did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison, and go visit You ?”

The Lord will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brother of mine, you did for Me.’” Matt. 25:37-40

Likewise... whatever we didn't do for the least of these... we didn't do for him as well.

May God open our eyes to the needs around us... and lead us each to “bear our neighbor's burdens” as He sees fit.


Special K said...

A Hearty AMEN and AMEN!

Its time we slow down and take notice of others...we aren't the only ones that are busy, hurting or in need...and I find that when we meet other's needs our's seem to be met unexpectedly...Imagine that!