Who Is My Neighbor?June 24, 2019 | Written by Maureen Stanek
I wanted to share today about some precious children who live at St. Theresa’s Children’s Home in Myanmar. I have visited these children on more than one occasion and I can still see the children’s bright, happy faces and hear their giggling voices. I love to see how open the children are to the love of Jesus Christ and to witness their strong faith in God. Our teams enjoy praying with them, worshiping with them, bringing the children Bibles and believing God with them for the petitions they are bringing before the Lord. It is clear to me how much Sister Mary Gloria and the other caregivers love the Lord and take such good care of the children. The last time I was at St. Theresa’s, Sister Mary Gloria asked me to lay hands on her and pray for her for healing of diabetes, and to pray for the children’s health and education. She shared with me (through our interpreter) how there were not many Christians in her village. There are 300 homes in her community and about 270 of them are Buddhist families. She shared with me what a joy it is to be a light shining in this agricultural area filled with paddy fields, fish ponds, and rubber trees.
Recently, I have been thinking about some really important words that Jesus spoke, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” We know the Bible says that this is the greatest commandment. When the expert in Moses’ law asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus shared the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus said our neighbor is the wounded man or woman lying on the side of the road in need of care, mercy and compassion. Remember that only one person took the time to stop and help. It wasn’t the priest or the Levite. Instead, it was a Samaritan who wasn’t even welcome in Jerusalem. The Jews and Samaritans were not friends. But it was the Samaritan who showed mercy: “He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have. (Luke 10:25-37).”
What freedom there is in loving and caring for people all over the world. It doesn’t matter what “title” they may have. God’s love reaches across denominational walls, skin color, ethnic background and other man-made barriers. Today, I challenge you to pray for your brothers and sisters around the world. You may have never met them, but God sees them and knows them by name. Lift up your voice to heaven and ask God to pour His Spirit out on His sons and daughters (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17). Let’s also look closely at those who cross our paths daily. How can we pour oil and wine on those around us?
Lord, show us Your ways. Teach us to see with Your eyes. Remove barriers that keep men and women separated. Let love be the greatest force in the universe that springs us into action. May I be the one who reaches out to another in need. Open my eyes to see someone hurting around me. I will be an instrument today of your care, mercy and compassion. Fill me with Your healing presence and make me a vessel that pours oil on wounded souls.