On Loving Our Neighbors.

Photo by TJ Zafarana 

Photo by TJ Zafarana 

In my notebook, I have the most precious gift. It is a small, square sticky note that reads: “I love you, Alexa.” The sticky note is pink with robin egg blue lettering. The penmanship is of a small child.

It is simple, yet it is one of my most favorite things.

It is one of my favorite things because it reminds me to love and give out of an open place. It reminds me that every single thing that we do has an impact. That the seconds, minutes or hours we spend with each other count.

The way we take care of each other, indeed leaves a mark. 

As a social worker, sister, friend and daughter, it is the continuous call to carry light and love wherever I go. It matters. I know it’s hard, our hearts get weary, we get selfish, and we wonder if what we do or say has any bearings on the world around us.

These question often nag my own heart as well.

But then I am reminded of the pink sticky note that gently hangs in my notebook. The love I carry matters, and it matters that I continue to choose it.

Jesus talked and shared about many important things when he was alive. He tells us that we must have faith as big as a mustard seed and that those who have little power on earth will inherit the heavens. He gives us these wonderful, paradoxical messages on how we are to interact with the world.

But most importantly, Jesus is specific in his commands on how we treat others. He tells us that we must love our neighbors, as ourselves. Jesus is the ultimate includer in his actions, reaching out and drawing near to society’s disenfranchised, disregarded or disowned. He met with the sick, the poor, and the prostitutes. His own crew was a bunch of common fisherman.

Our attempts of pride, of selfishness, of self-exposure are not the end game for this Jewish rabbi, instead his clear call for us is to love.

So he says, we must love others as ourselves. This is the most important commandment.  

My heart has been torn in recent days, as some people in the government have attempted to create policy and practices that would exclude people. I can just not reconcile this with the words of Jesus. 

Rather, I seek to be a pink sticky note person. One that accepts and offers love freely and graciously. I may carry the mark of love; that the beautiful words from Jesus’ own lips would be the banner of my life.  I pray often that my own hands will be part of protecting and cherishing others. 

I pray that I do not grow weary of doing good, and instead the love I have been given will extend through me onto others.

That I continue to greet, love and serve my neighbors.

 

 

Posted on January 30, 2017 .