Are you ready to give? What does it mean to love your neighbor? Sometimes it’s literal: concern and compassion for those in your own circles and neighborhoods. Sometimes it means a broader prayer for mankind. Recent news of immigrants confronting hardships as they flee war-torn areas of the world prompt us to consider our own efforts to alleviate suffering. My colleague, Rich Evans, writing for the September 23, 2015 edition of Arizona Silver Belt, shares a personal experience and some inspiration for today’s challenges in loving our neighbor. Here’s Rich:
Budapest. Munich. Bodrum. These beautiful, historic places have become symbols of unanswered global questions about our moral obligations to mankind.
This question is just as important here in the Southwestern US, as anywhere.
Seeing reports of masses of refugees fending for themselves at Keleti railway station in Hungary, having just escaped the chaos of warfare, begs many questions and demands serious thought.
“There, but for the grace of God, go I”, could be a natural response. But what is the grace of God? To me, it’s the inspired effect on human behavior of understanding God’s universal love. Such boundless grace must hold answers for each individual, oppressed or free, in conflict or at peace, in Syria or Arizona.
We could, of course, simply view these challenges as someone else’s problem. But we have a track record of doing better than that. In the 1970’s the influx of Vietnamese families torn by conflict was met with magnanimity. Many churches opened their hearts and doors to those in need. And more than just being a morally sure-footed thing to do, it was a mutual blessing.
For instance, our family….