Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" when you now have it with you. Proverbs 3:27-28
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Luke 10:25-29
In the photograph above taken Sunday February 7, 2010, the morning after the big storm, you are looking down my street. The photo is taken from in front of my driveway, with me standing in the middle of the street. There remain two houses on my street to the left between the corner and mine. Joe and his family live in the first, where the large black vehicle is at the end of the lane. The next house down, the yellow one, belongs to Ron and his wife. The green house across the street on the corner belongs to an elderly widow named Leda.
To the other side of my house live Jamie and his family. Across the street is Jim.
So I am outside because my son is going to drive somewhere and I want to make certain he can get out of our drive. As he slowly goes down our hill, I see Ron shoveling at the end of his drive. I haven’t talked to him for a while, so I amble down the street.
As I get closer I see Joe is also there with a shovel. Ron’s SUV is kind of crooked across his drive. He’s stuck.
Well, we did have a bit of snow if you can call 25.2 inches a bit. The street was plowed, but still all white and slick. A car was spinning its wheels trying to come up just a few minutes earlier.
Ron has a reason he wants to get unstuck. He wants to take Leda to the hospital. Yesterday she fell on some ice just outside her door and might have a broken wrist. Ron had seen her slip and went to her aide. He has some paramedic training, so examined her injury, but in the middle of the storm the best he could do was wrap it and come back today to check on her. It was swollen up and turning purple so he wanted to take her to the hospital for an x-ray just to be safe. And that’s when his vehicle got stuck.
Ron’s a bit banged up himself. He has a black eye. He fell asleep watching TV last night, woke up, got up and tripped over a coffee table. He fell headfirst into the fireplace and a poker caught him. Fortunately it just missed his eye but it left him with a beautiful shiner.
Joe had seen Ron get stuck and came down to try and help, so now I joined in the endeavor. Ron was in pretty deep, though and it didn’t look good.
Just when we were about to give it one more try without a lot of faith in a positive outcome, Jamie came up the street in his pickup. He pulled over and said he thought he had a rope in the truck bed; maybe he could pull Ron out.
First he had to borrow a shovel because he had two feet of snow in the truck bed to dig through.
He found the rope and in short time Ron was back on the road. Jamie retrieved his rope and went home. Ron picked up Leda and headed for the hospital. Joe and I finished clearing out Ron’s driveway, although he kept telling us to stop. He felt bad since he wouldn’t be there. But, hey man, you do enough for we neighbors, finishing your drive is nothing.
Sometimes it takes two black guys, one white guy and a Hispanic immigrant to get one widow lady to the hospital, because all that diversity stuff means nothing you know. We’re all one race, the human race, and what really counts we are all neighbors and we look out for each other.
Oh, what about Jim. Well, he wasn’t helping Leda this time, but he cleared her super long sidewalks of snow earlier, just like Joe had cleared mine. Younger neighbors have to help out us older folk occasionally too.
And who knows who will need what this winter. Forecast is calling for another 8 to 16 inches landing on us this coming Tuesday and Wednesday. Whoa, Nelly!