Being Neighborly is Contagious

Today, we got quite the snow storm here in Lancaster County. It snowed from about 8 PM – 12 PM. Alyssa being pregnant, I was flying solo in the shoveling department. About 3 shovelfuls into the operation, I began to look longingly at my neighbors with snow blowers. In my head, I wished that they would see me riding the struggle bus and come on over to help me, but it seemed very unlikely. It turns out I was wrong. A neighbor of mine came over and helped. In response, I went over an helped them and we all worked together until we all went inside. It is honestly the first time I have felt community in a neighborhood in my life. I expressed thanks to my neighbor and she simply said “You’ll find this neighborhood is like that.”

I was struck by how much this kindness motivated me. One act of kindness moved me from being alone working on my own stuff to being a part of a team. My neighbors made a choice to be the first to step outside of their primary concerns and, with that act, created community. When I am out and going about my business, I am often primarily concerned with getting my stuff done a being productive. Even though I like to pretend I am always the Samaritan from the famous story, I am probably the Priest or the Levite far too often. Jesus contextualized the command to love one’s neighbor by telling the expert in the law to act more neighborly. I want to learn to be more like my neighbor. In the midst of my busyness, I want to learn to look for those opportunities to put someone else ahead of myself and, in those moments, create community.

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