I live next to my mom. My mom lives in the house I grew up in. We bought the house next to mom and dad when we all still thought dad would be around forever. Living here has been a blessing in many ways. But, our neighborhood was considered “transitional” when we purchased our home. Then, the housing bubble burst. Then the recession hit. Our transitional neighborhood hasn’t transitioned quite in the way we expected. However, the street we live on is great, so all is good. But, the areas all around us definitely show the strain of bad financial times on an already poor area of town.
It’s been our conviction that this is our community, our side of town and we will shop here as much as possible. That is part of why mom still gets her prescriptions at Kmart on Freedom Drive. And that is where the story begins….
Mom and my girl were at the pharmacy picking up mom’s drugs. The man in front of them was an elderly gentleman. They waited patiently as he paid for his medicine with rolled pennies. In the course of the transaction, he happened to mention that he had walked tonight because his car was broken. When he was done, he turned and began to walk away. The pharmacy tech looked at the pharmacist and said, “I’m taking my break now.” She called out to the elderly gentleman and told him she’d be taking him home.
My girl was so touched by the scene, she came home and told me about it immediately. Mom was equally as touched. Her lesson from it was this – no matter how bad it may seem, things could always be worse. She pointed this out to my teen, who often doesn’t understand why she can’t have everything she wants. The lesson is a good one, to be sure. Those of us who live in the US are an overwhelmingly blessed people, financially speaking. Often, we work so hard to maintain things that truly aren’t essential. It’s good to recognize that, even if we’re struggling, there are folks who are struggling far worse.
The lesson I got from it was a bit different, though. God calls us to love Him first and love our neighbor next. What does love look like? Is it hearts and flowers and hugs and kisses? Well, yes, it can be. But, I believe loving your neighbor looks a whole lot like what that pharmacy tech did. I believe it means sharing what you have with others, even if you have to go our of your way to do it. It’s not always a ride that’s needed. In fact, it’s not always a tangible thing. Sometimes, I believe it’s a smile. Or a listening ear. Or compassion. Most of the time, though, it’s going to cost you something. Maybe it will cost time. Or dignity. Or money. Maybe it will cost you the right to be right. Or the right to justice. Maybe, like the pharmacy tech, it will cost you gas and wear and tear on your car and your break time. No matter. Do it. Love. That’s what God calls us to do.
So. Who can you love today? Don’t live in a depressed area like mine? No matter. There are needs everywhere, you only need to look around. Ask God to open your eyes to His opportunities today. I think you’ll be surprised by the blessing you’ll receive when you step out of your comfort zone to bless others!
Be blessed and tell someone you love them. Or better yet, show them.
Oh….and pray for the man at Kmart. I’m certain Mr. Mayes and his wife would appreciate it.