February 29, 2008

Who's My Neighbor?

I have this phrase on a post-it-note by my computer and it's reminding me of what I just read this morning. The note says -

"From head to heart to feet"

I was sitting with scripture's Good Samaritan story. So often in my self-righteousness I get mad at the priest and Levite
wondering what kind of spiritual people they are?! But when you really think about it, they were very much loving God in strictly obeying the Torah - you became impure when you touched a dead body, even if your shadow falls upon the body. And this guy laying in the road looked dead. But they didn't turn aside to look closely, so they didn't really know, but looked straight ahead, quickly walking on by.

Maybe their hearts moved with some concern and compassion, but the 'letter of the law' forbade them. Their hearts weren't connected to their head knowledge. But if you were a religious person wouldn't you know God and see a disconnect between how you were interpreting scripture and who God might really be like?

But then I think about me - I've got my day planned ... I don't want to be bothered ... someone else will do it ... they seem kinda weird. So in a sense my own feet and hands don't follow through on what my heart might be suggesting. God does like obedience, but the spirit of the law would want us to love others, not just recognize needs, but wanting my attentiveness in following through in some way.

So I'll be pondering this for awhile and pray for attentiveness; seeing eyes and listening ears, and asking God how He might want to show His caring for others through me, not me inviting Him into my plans, but how I might join into what He's already doing.

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