Early one morning there was a knock on the apartment door. I was only wearing my skimpy nightgown. I looked through the peephole. I saw a young man whom I didn’t recognize. I didn’t think on my feet. I could have put on a housecoat, but instead I said “I’m not answering the door”. I heard the guy try other doors and did get a response. Later I thought: “that was my neighbour whom I hadn’t seen for a month. A day later we met in hall. I apologized for not helping him. He said, “It wasn’t me!”
What about the people who live in low income housing and repeatedly access the food bank. How are we really helping our neighbours? Do we fear diseases from street people?
Do we see the elderly as non functioning therefore abandoning them.
What are the excuses that frequently come up……my time is my own. I’m not a spur of the moment type and therefore not flexible for helping. I am not going out of my way. If I help one there will be quite a few more make demands on my resources.
In Matthew chapter 14: 16-24 Jesus tells a parable of the great banquet. The master sent his servant out to inform the invited guests that all was ready. Each one had an excuse for not attending the banquet. So the master asked his servant to go into the streets and alley ways of the town to find more guests. These would be the marginalized people in society. They were happy to go to the banquet. When there was still room at the table, the master sent the servant out into the country roads. So the guests had many infirmities and came from the strata of society where no one cared for them. But they responded to the master’s invitation.
Who will respond to the Lord’s invitation to follow Him? Who will obey the Lord when he says to help those in need? What flimsy excuses will we have to confess in order to serve Him and minister to others? The excuse of the flimsy nightgown and fear are not acceptable.
Jesus says “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it shall be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
It is a good idea to meet your neighbours so that apartments are not cold and impersonal. As for me, I now get dressed as soon as I get up in the morning. That way, I am prepared to help my neighbours and to get out in the city to offer time and resources as a volunteer, for Jesus’ sake.