The measure of a life, after all is not its duration, but its donation.
Corrie Ten Boom, 1892-1983
Dutch Evangelist, Writer
10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
I John 4:10
I have precious neighbors. I don’t know any of them as well as I should, I guess being a teacher has made me a bit distant. Recently one of my neighbors lost his father. It had been a rough week in the north east already, with the blizzard our latest challenge. The odd thing was, I thought he was away, as I did not see his car in the driveway. As the weekend began to unfold, I learned that his dad was in the hospital and that death was imminent. The blizzard hit, his dad passed away and “R” and his sister stayed with their mom for several days to help.
Across town in my neighborhood folks slowly began to dig out. Our snowblower died last season and we had not replaced it as of yet. My younger daughter, my husband and myself began to carve a path from the back stairs. All the other neighbors were happily blowing snow and moving to each others’ driveways, helping out. About an hour or so into the job, I realized that the three of us were not good candidates to continue. I called my neighbor and asked if their son could snowblow what remained of our driveway. Sure, she replied, but he has to dig out his grandmother first. Mind you, the whole family is in the beginning of grieving, but their way of working through it was literally that.
Eventually, “G” (the youngest son) came over and began to work at the other side of our driveway. His brother joined his for a stint, then G and my husband continued the job to its conclusion. Maybe I am getting the days mixed up at this point, but after that, the family went up the street to physically dig out another neighbor. Dad returned home and they continued their grieving as a unit.
The week continued to challenge me, and we missed the first session of the wake by over an hour. The attendant let us sign the book, but he was less than gracious. We returned for the evening session and read a wonderful tribute to our neighbor’s dad. The funny thing is, it could have been written about any of them, R’s wife, his sons C and G or himself.
Their lives are lives of constant service, caring, faith. I have known my neighbor’s wife for what seems a lifetime as my mom was her Girl Scout leader. She is special to me and our families share a long history. When I looked out my door that day to she and her family walking up the street, I did not see their earthly face, I saw the face of Jesus in every one.
Today, look for Jesus in your neighbor.
Because of Him,