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