Daily D – Luke 10:27
“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” And, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” LUKE 10:27 (NLT)
The most important thing you and I can ever do is to live and to lead with love. This refers to the kind of love that seeks the highest good of others. It always does what is right, just, and fair. It is forever kind and compassionate.
How can we love our neighbors as ourselves during this pandemic?
Pray, provide, promise.
We can pray for them. We can pray for their health and wellbeing. We can pray for their financial viability. We can pray that they would come to know and experience God and have a good and growing relationship with him.
We can provide for them. We can run errands for them. We can share supplies we find. We can help them with urgent home repairs. We can let them know they are not alone.
We can promise them our friendship. We can let them know that as far as we are able, we will not allow anyone to take advantage of them or to harm them. We can behave with steadfast loyalty toward them. We can check on them appropriately.
Beyond those who live in closest proximity, how can we love the kinds of neighbors identified deeper into this chapter in Luke where Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan? How else can we love our neighbors?
Give Help that is Really Help
Help where help is really help. When the breadth and depth of this pandemic became apparent here in the USA, many people jumped up and wanted to do something productive. They wanted to serve. Some wanted to be in charge and to make sure they got credit for it. Then restrictions and cautions and protective measures multiplied and many got wrapped up in red tape.
Some people decided they would do their own thing the way they were going to do it no matter what anyone said or thought. Thank you, Typhoid Mary, for making things so much worse by your concern. (https://bit.ly/2ytyV36)
How can we love our neighbors most effectively within the precautions designed to save lives?
We can give blood. Even if, and maybe even particularly if, we have experienced COVID-19 and recovered, our blood could help others survive. The Red Cross says, “Every two seconds someone in the U. S. needs blood.” (https://rcblood.org/2V2osDy)
In another set of circumstances, churches, school districts, and businesses would host blood drives. With limits on gathering and other social distancing practices, this will not work. However, Carter BloodCare and others like them are in need of people to come by appointment to donate blood.
We can receive training and join feeding programs. For details on what opportunities there are in Tarrant County and how to get trained to serve, go to this webpage: https://bit.ly/2JF8HwU
We can stay home. The more I stay home, the more agoraphobic I become. Walking through a grocery store this week, I encountered a woman who appeared sick. She wore a medical mask and gloves. Her skin was sallow. Her eyes were dull. I hesitated for a moment as we moved toward one another. As she turned down an aisle, I noticed the telltale signs of a cancer patient who has endured chemotherapy. How terrifying this season must be for her and others like her.
Typhoid Mary was an asymptomatic carrier. She endangered many lives. The weakest and most vulnerable among us need us to avoid such behavior. Our need to get out and about because we are going stir crazy is not nearly as important as their need to live. Our need to serve and to be seen doing so is not nearly as important as people receiving what they need without likewise experiencing exposure to the cause of our worldwide emergency. Becoming an asymptomatic carrier is a death sentence for those we love and for those we encounter wherever we go.
How else can you love your neighbor as yourself?
I will love my neighbor as myself.
Our Father, as we grow in our discipleship through this awful season, empower us with the wisdom we need for knowing how best to serve our neighbors, including those close by and those who are more distant due to proximity, social standing, ethnicity, or legal status. Empower us to breathe life on our communities. Empower us to serve in your strength. Empower us to be still and to wait as long as necessary for this agent of death to pass over us. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”