by Ray Hill, MacGregor, Man.
Thank you, Adam Harris, for broaching the subject of loving one’s neighbour, regardless of who he is [Go And Do Likewise, Jan. 2019]. Part of our mandate as non-resisters is to reduce the suffering of others. So, yes, there is room for exceptional acts of kindness.
Unfortunately, many see Jesus’ command only in terms of exceptional acts of kindness illustrated by the photo accompanying the column of a man helping a lady start her car (or is it the other way around?). Jesus’ love is illustrated differently with his disciples—investment of his life in others and risk which sometimes backfires. Love means doing the ordinary, like taking time on the street to chat with a neighbour not from our “circle,” visiting others at their home or inviting them to ours, or taking out the garbage for a disabled neighbour so she can stay in her home another year. For some this is a no-brainer; for others, it needs to be stated plainly.
Unexceptional acts are relatively high in cost (my precious time!) and offer no glory but we are often surprised by what we do receive—returned human warmth that is beyond price. Jesus said to cast your bread on the waters and it will return after a time.