This past weekend my family and I were in Portland, OR. We rented a house near the location of the event we were attending. This neighborhood is close to the city as well as close to a lower class neighborhood. The street our house was on and a few blocks either way is one that is filled with homes that are being renovated. You know within a few years this part of the area will be transformed into a more middle class to upper class neighborhood.
My parents and I decided to take a walk and do some exploring. It was fun to look at all these beautiful old craftsman style homes as we walked from one block to another. The further away we got from our block the more I noticed things started to change. The streets started to become littered with trash, I did see someone use the church steps as a restroom and a drug deal. We’d walked so far that we didn’t realize we’d made the transition from one neighborhood to another.
As I directed my 73-year-old parents back to our house I started to look at the environment I was in. There seemed to be a lot of hurt in the eyes of many I passed but I didn’t take the time to love on anyone as we wandered back to the neighborhood our house was in. It wasn’t until I read this passage that I was reminded of what we need to be doing for our neighbors.
We need to love our neighbors. Love them even if they don’t live in the most desirable neighborhood. Love them when they are living out of their car and using whatever they can as a restroom. Love them when they feel the need to fill the void they feel with drugs that give them a temporary fix. Love them when they annoy you. Love them when they hurt you. Love them when you’d rather not.
Why? Because Jesus loves them. Because if you Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind that your heart would also be open to loving those around you.
“And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:37-39
Krista Jones – 9-12-17