Love thy neighbor!

Well, I finally got that snow day I’d been waiting for.

I realize a couple of inches of snow is no big deal to the rest of the country, but in the Metro Atlanta area we just don’t do snow. We may see it three to five times in a decade. We can readily stand the heat. Snow? Not so much! I think next time the governor will just tell people to stay home.

In light of the horrid conditions many were forced to endure, it was actually quite uplifting to watch and read about all the good things that took place during such a trying time. I love it when the worst of conditions brings out the best in people.

There were several stories about people who opened their homes and businesses to strangers offering shelter in the storm.  I watched on television as one guy walked from his house and stood for hours in the cold to offer sandwiches and hot coffee to those who were stranded and starving in their cars. One local group of people who owned Jeeps made the rounds towing and pushing cars out of ditches.

Likewise, in neighboring Alabama, a group of Chick-fil-A employees closed up shop to go out in the cold and offer hot food and drinks to people stranded on the highway. They also made their restaurant available to those in need of shelter. The employees worked non-stop. The cash register did not. They made a very deliberate choice not to take a dime for their efforts.

Random acts of kindness.

With all the negativity continually displayed in the media, it was nice to see acts of selflessness and love receive the attention so rightly deserved. I heard one man say in a news interview that the snow was a great “equalizer.” It doesn’t care if you are rich, poor, educated or not, nature will ultimately bring us all down to the most basic of common denominators.

The first of which is people who are dependent on the assistance of others.  Or alternatively, a second group being the people who can help other others in need. The funny thing though is you never know which one of these two categories you will ultimately fall in. You can be a “helper” one minute and on the “receiving end” the next. That’s just the way life goes.

The first book of Corinthians teaches us the importance of love. As a child I thought its instruction was to make us more loving for the benefit of others. Yet as an adult I believe this instruction is vital to us that we may “reap what we sow,” allowing us to receive love as we have displayed it to others.

It isn’t so much about taking the “high road” in life situations as it is creating fertile ground now that will  yield a good harvest later. The people who can live this premise of loving others don’t give of themselves for what they will receive later. They already know they will be taken care of when needed. These people don’t keep count of their good deeds. They don’t have too. They have a faith that overrides cynicism. Their trust is in God, not people.

We are already into February, a month associated with hearts and love. In this month, let us all make an effort to be offended a little less and love a little more.  A little care and compassion can go a long way toward opening the door for the blessing  you’ve been waiting for.

 “Let all that you [do] be done with love,” 1 Corinthians 16:14 NKJV

“And now abide faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love,”
1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV

“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 30-31

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. Another awesome post! It’s always great to hear outstanding news like that. And I totally agree and take it personally myself that we should adopt the habit of becoming so quickly offended and instead showing more love. We must come to a level of maturity to do that. A dose of humility wouldn’t hurt much either. ;=} Thanks for sharing.



    1. LaTrice,

      You are so correct in that humility goes a long way in allowing us to love others and not “receive” every offense “unto ourselves”. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Happy Sunday! 🙂


  2. I love snow, but not the problems it causes for those who are most affected by being cut off or unable to get out because of it. We had very bad snow two years ago and we couldn’t get in or out of our road as it is sloped and was treacherously icy. It is very heartwarming to read of people’s ‘random acts of kindness’ in helping others like this and to remember that it is just as important to be able to receive help as well as give it. Not always easy! Keep warm and safe Lilka, all blessings to you from a very wet Somerset in south-western England 🙂


  3. I was encouraged by the stories of the care givers in Atlanta. Great post!

    In the upper midwest, we have been dealing with brutal wind chills and heavy snow. But we know what to do. If it is severe winter weather, we stay home and close the schools. We know how to drive in the snow, we have salt trucks, plows, etc. We are equipped.

    We don’t handle the heat well, though. We are not prepared for several days in the upper 90s in a row.


    1. Ann,

      Thanks as always for stopping by!

      This time the city actually had the salt trucks unlike three years ago. However, they didn’t know it was necessary to put the stuff out on the roads BEFORE the snow!

      I lived in Indiana for a year, experienced a winter up there and thought I was going to just die! I’m not sure if I ever got warm. I really applaud you all for being able to handle the white stuff.

      I like to think God places us where we can best thrive. We won’t all fare the same in any given set of circumstances but that’s part of what makes us unique.

      Thanks for taking time to comment on the post.

      All the best! Lilka


  4. I was once a helper, and am now on the receiving end (income/career wise at least), as my mental health situation changed the course of my life ten years ago this March. I was 60 hours into becoming a psychologist, and then I experienced my first manic episode that March of 2004 and was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. 5 hospitalizations, many med changes, and 10 years of therapy later, I finally have a sense of clarity. Though I live border poverty line, I have never been more alive.
    Thanks for sharing these kind acts of others that occurred during the horrible road conditions from the storm and stuff. It is so good to know that there are still good people in the world. Great blog post!
    God bless!


    1. Mandi,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I really appreciate your input. We all go through phases when we are on the giving end and then the receiving end. I like to think it keeps us humble 😉

      I’m so glad you’ve gotten to that point of clarity in your life. That is a major feat accomplished! Thanks for taking the time to comment. Good people are still doing good things. We just don’t hear about them and talk about them as we should.

      Be Blessed! Lilka


  5. “You can be a “helper” one minute and on the “receiving end” the next.”

    I can back that statement! It has always been difficult for me to receive help, but choosing to receive help made me a better person. Of course, it’s important to strike a balance. It’s not healthy to push caring people away, but it’s not healthy to be dependent to the point of inefficiency, either. But boy, oh boy, I am grateful for the safety net so many cast for me.


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