“But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’”
When the lawyer in Luke 10 tested Jesus by asking that question, he probably didn’t expect to hear what one of Jesus’ best known parables. The moral of his Good Samaritan story is that true neighborliness shows itself as mercy. The Good Samaritan was a good neighbor to the man left for dead by picking him up and carrying him to safety.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic kept us at home for two months, I could have named several of my neighbors, had you asked me who they are. Now, though, I know more. Across the street and over the fence, we’ve shared anxieties and encouragements we never would have shared it we weren’t all at home all the time.
I’m tempted to downplay that kind of neighborliness in light of the Good Samaritan’s example, because I haven’t physically picked up any of my suffering neighbors and literally carried them to a better situation. What has happened, though, is mercy to one another in the form of conversation and time and investment in relationships that have grown over the past few months.
I’m thankful to have been shown those mercies, and to have an opportunity to extend them to my neighbors.
Meredith Flynn is content manager for IBSA media.