If you watch any of the morning programs or the evening world news you heard about this horrible tragedy in Newburgh, New York. Newburgh is south of Kingston, New York where our previous church was. I can't turn my head or shut off the news and pretend this heartbreaking news doesn't affect me because there is nothing I can do.
How can any good come from the mother of four children killing herself and three of her four young children? Only God can answer that question.
I can not find many words for the sadness I feel for this mother. Yes she killed her children...
but why? is the question looming in every one's mind. Was there really no one she could turn to? No family or friends? The idea that this woman of four beautiful children, who was also working and going to school to make a better life for herself felt she had no one to turn to is heart wrenching.
Was she no one's neighbor? I don't have any answers, I haven't done a lot of reading about this incident to find out many details because it breaks my heart. What can I do?
The Bible tells me that Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment. He answers I am to love God with all my heart, with all my mind and will all my soul, and he goes on to say the second is this...
to love my neighbor as much as I love myself.(Matthew 22:36-39)
I can't help this mother, but I can love my neighbor. And who is my neighbor? I need to start with my spouse and children and love out from there. As a disciple of Jesus it is my responsibility to "seek the greatest good of my neighbor, both Jew and Gentile."(ESV notes)
Who is your neighbor? Do you seek the greatest good of your neighbor?
I think of Jesus who challenged Nicodemus, who engaged a Samaritan women in conversation, who healed the son of a Roman ruler. He went out of his way to love his "neighbors".
Do I really have the energy to volunteer in the church nursery so a young mother can attend the worship service?
Do I have time in my precious schedule to pick up the phone and call the lonely widow or take senior sants out for coffee?
Do I have stamina at the end of my day to play catch with my daughter who is practicing for the softball team?
Do I...then God reminds me, it isn't about me, it is about my neighbor who He has called me to love, to involve myself in their life, to say there IS someone who really cares about you.
So please call or text, or drive to my house, email me or comment on my blog before you "drive yourself into the river." I want to be your neighbor.
Are you loving your neighbor?