Chapter 7 answers the question with…‘My Neighbor is Someone Who Is Naked”. Curious question…Do you say nay’ked? or neck’ed? Regardless…naked can mean nude, bare, unadorned, unarmed, exposed, unprotected, uncovered, stripped…to name a few. Of course, the first thing we think of is undressed! Now, depending on the situation, the naked/undressed person may be in need of a neighbor. Someone who lost their clothing while skinny dipping, perhaps. Or a woman who got caught in a rainstorm and is now in a see-through or clinging t-shirt or dress. Because of illness, someone who doesn’t even know they don’t have clothes on or are uncovered. We need to be their loving neighbor and find them cover.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were ‘outed’? People found out something about you that you didn’t want them to know. Or you were transparent one time and shared a private moment with a ‘friend’ who then used it against you, ridiculed you, told others, etc. That is a very embarrassing and vulnerable, sometimes devastating moment…and you really need a friend and neighbor at that time. We need to cover you at that time. We shouldn’t get caught up in the hatin’, gossip and talk. Instead, what if WE were the one who befriended you instead?
But, I also think of the defenseless – those who can’t help themselves. Our God has given our friend, Sara Pomeroy, a heart for people involved in Human Trafficking. Through Richmond Justice Initiative (RJI), Sara and her team are being great neighbors to victims of human trafficking. In addition, they are also providing an opportunity for others to be neighborly as well through their training and volunteer programs.
RJI is a grassroots faith based organization of modern day abolitionists committed to ending modern day slavery, commonly referred to as human trafficking.
Our approach in order to eradicate this issue is to combat this crime on all fronts, through pursuing awareness, education, prevention, advocacy, aftercare and prayer.
Gordon summarizes this chapter writing…
There are a lot of naked people in our lives. They may not be without clothes, but they have in some way been stripped of their dignity, stripped of who they are as human beings, and limited in some way from being all they ought to be and can be. They need someone to come alongside who simply will not allow them to feel embarrassed, but who intead will affirm their dignity and provided the same kind of tender, loving care offered tot he man who, many years ago, went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
Thank you Lord for providing neighbors and friends who can come alongside us when we are feeling exposed and vulnerable. Forgive us of times where we may have harmed another intentionally or unintentionally. Give us the strength to stand up for those who physically or emotionally stripped of their dignity and pride. Teach us how to love like the Good Samaritan and raise us up to be the defenders of those who are naked. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
This is the 7th 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.