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Won't you be my neighbor....

Let each of us please our neighbors for their good, to help them be stronger in faith. (Romans 15:2)

Our neighbor is really any other human being in close proximity to us. During the pandemic, many of us did not really make much contact with our 'neighbors'. We were living like 'shut-ins' and some of us even lost contact with the 'human race' except through things like Zoom or Skype calls. The things we may have 'endured' during the pandemic may just have contributed to a few of our 'neighbors' losing contact with us and vice versa. The loss of contact has actually made us a bit 'weaker' - as each of us really strengthens the other.

"The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor." (Hubert H. Humphrey) Take this idea one step further and you might say we became a bit more 'impersonal' in the age of the pandemic. We lost that 'helping hand' of neighbors. Remember, we aren't just neighbors with the people who live next door or on the next farm. We are neighbors with all who we come into close proximity to throughout our day. Do you see an older woman struggling to get her groceries into the car, or up the sidewalk and into her home? Be a neighbor. Do you observe a lad struggling to understand his history assignment? Be a neighbor. 

Neighborly actions are not just kind, they are needed. As our passage implies - they actually build us up in our faith. We are building each other up with every action we take to help a neighbor, regardless of their need. Perhaps one of the greatest needs to come out of this pandemic is learning how to be there for each other again. Horace reminds us, "Your own safety is at stake when your neighbor's wall is ablaze." Ever avoid someone because you know their life is falling apart right now? Their 'wall is ablaze' and you just don't want to get into all the mess. You may not realize just how much your own 'wall' is at risk when you neglect your neighbor in his time of need. Just sayin!

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