Chapter 6 answers the question with…‘My Neighbor is Someone Who Is Half Dead”. Wow! I guess not many of us have encountered someone who is half dead. Louis and I have. On our 4th date (about 4 years ago), Frank got shot 9 times outside our back door. By the time the paramedics arrived, he had no pulse and was only breathing once or twice a minute. He was left for dead, but God had another plan for him. Because Louis and I were home to respond with prayer and first aid, he survived. So, Frank was our neighbor that night. As time went by, Frank and his family became more than neighbors or friends, but they are family. We love them like they are our own. It’s been a real blessing for us to know Frank, Vicky, the girls and Geraldine. You can read more about that in the following posts…Change of Heart…Just in Time, MGV – Barton and Roberts, The Word Became Flesh…, …and Moved into the Neighborhood.
But, like last week’s post, Neighbor 5: Someone Who Has Been Robbed, people can also be half dead emotionally. They may not be able to experience the full life that God intended them to have. Life full of joy unspeakable and full of glory. God can use us to help breathe life into another person with our words of encouragement and love. Sometimes life is just hard…and it stinks. We need to learn how to just be there with and for our friends when they are troubled emotionally and spiritually without judgement. Be there in love…and love alone.
Lastly, we need to be there with people who are half dead spiritually because they continue to wallow in their sin. Gordon writes…
Ephesians 2:5 tells us that God “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions –it is by grace you have been saved.” We need to resuscitate people in the our communities who are half dead and who don’t know Jesus Christ. For truly they are our neighbors.
Lord, thanks for using us as your hands and feet on Earth. You don’t need us, but you choose to use us to shine your glory. Forgive us for the times we are not paying attention, too busy or too selfish to notice who’s barely breathing around us. Open our eyes to see people around us who are walking around half dead emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Teach us how to love them like you love us…with patience, kindness, full of hope, and unconditionally. In your name we pray. Amen.
This is the 6th post in a series that I wrote about in a series that I wrote about in a post called who is my neighbor? series. I am reading who is my neighbor? by Wayne Gordon and exploring just one chapter a week. In addition, I hope to post on each Wednesday. The first post in the series can be found here: Neighbor 1: Hurting.