Saturday, March 27, 2010

Love Thy Neighbor

Greetings and Holykisses,

When was the last time you experienced joy? True JOY.
What were you doing... who were you with, and what happened?
The definition of joy is: A strong feeling of happiness; gladness; delight. 2. A state of contentment or satisfaction.
Yesterday I experienced this true delight.

Recently, I've been reading about loving your neighbor. In Luke 10:27, we're told to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, strength and mind. And then it says to love your neighbor as yourself.

In the parable of the good Samaritan, a man was robbed, beaten, stripped naked and left for dead. Along comes a priest, and when he saw the man, he went to the other side and kept on going. Then comes the Levite and he passes him by as well. And then came the Samaritan. When he saw the man, he took pity. He went to him, bandaged him; pouring on oil and wine.
He put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day, he gave the inn keeper two silver coins and told him to look after the man. He told the inn keeper that when he returns, whatever cost was incurred, he would pay.

~ "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had MERCY on him." Jesus told him,
"Go and do likewise." Luke 10:36,37

I wish I could say I'm always merciful, and neighborly, but that'd be a lie.
How many times have I looked away?
How many times have I went to the other side of the road to get away from people?
How many times have I missed opportunities to love someone else?

My excuses... embarrass me.
Things like:
I don't want to be interrupted.
I don't have enough "time."
I can't be bothered right now.

I've noticed a house that's in my path many times.
I noticed... because of the cute garden around and about the house.
The little garden has a gardener, and I've seen her there many times when I've come and gone along my path. -Passing her by....................... All the while...that still small voice inside of me has whispered, " Go and Love thy neighbor."

My blog banners often have Deuteronomy 6:5 on them. Love God, your God with all your heart. Love Him with all that's in you. Love Him with all you've got." But reading in the word, one more thing gets added to those verses as you go along. Matthew 22: 37-
Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."

When I was in town thee other day; with spring fever; I found myself inside Atwoods greenhouse. The pink Gerbera daisy in the photo above, came home with me. Not to live at the potting shed, but with 'gardener woman" whom I've passed by far too many times.

I drove up to her house and no one was around although her car was parked outside the door. I got out carefully watching for any mean dogs, and carried this pink petaled joyflower to her gate. Then I noticed the sign on her fence said, No Trespassing. I stood there for a bit; not knowing what to do? Do I break the law and open the gate, and go up and knock?
No, I didn't want to scare her, ....nor break the law either. lol Instead, I decided to pray for an opportunity. So I set the daisy in front of the gate and went on home.

The next day, (yesterday)- as I was on my way to the nursing home, I saw the house with the cute garden up ahead... in my path. She was outdoors! I pulled in her driveway and she noticed me, and started walking to her gate. She was so cute in her floppy, garden hat. She was talking on her cellphone and stayed on the phone. Did I scare her? Probably. I smiled, and said, "Did you find your daisy?" A smile broke out from ear to ear, and she pulled the phone away from her face and said, "I've been callin everybody I could think of trying to find out who left me a flower!?" I told her my name and explained I was her "neighbor." Then she repeated my name into the phone, telling who she was talking to "who" had left the daisy. Of all things, she was talking to her sister, and low n behold I've known her sister for nearly 20 years! She handed me her cellphone to say hello to her. :) It was incredible. I'm sorry to say, I haven't talked to her in far too long either and she's my neighbor as well.*

From there, she took me into her fenced in yard. She felt safe with me her new friend and neighbor. Yall she's wonderful! I found out in a hurry that she's a very Godly woman... very Godly! AND she has very green thumbs so you can well imagine how much I look up to her. She introduced me to all her flowers, and chickens!... and then we sat side by side in her swing while Sputnik her cat bonded with me and purred in my lap. *sigh* I can hardly wait to have her over to the potting shed. She gave me her cellphone and asked me to put my number in it but I couldn't figure the darn thing out. lol So we did it the old fashioned way with pen n paper. haha I felt such a strong feeling of happiness, gladness and delight. I was in a state of contentment and satisfaction. You know what the coolest thing was? Together we said how GOOD OUR GOD IS!!!



This is a pot of German Thyme.
I'm planting it in my garden today to remind myself to take more of it!
I've been missing so many opportunities to love my neighbors.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Joyfully!!!
L

15 comments:

Angela said...

What an amazing small world. What a beautiful story. When we are yard saling, I feel the nudge for the Holy Spirit so many times to 'chat' with those that are there. Not only the one that is having the yard sale but the 'customers'. I can't tell you the times Lea that I have been invited IN THE HOUSE of those that are having the yard sale.

One time last summer I was at a yard sale that had the most amazing items. So expensive for me. I found the lady very stand offish and was starting to take an offense to her. My flesh was kicking up a storm.

Than praise God, the Holy Spirit took over and said something about how I just adored what she was selling. I commented on how much I loved her front porch and that her decorating style was what I was trying to achieve for my home.

Than I hear,,'do you want to see the inside of my home?'. Well I wasn't going to pass that up! We had the most delightful chat and visit. I got to meet both her sons who have autism and she stated that I could come and visit any time.

I thank God I was able to follow through with the nudge instead of NOT loving my neighbor...

Denise said...

This is so very precious, bless you both.

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

No wonder you felt she needed a flower or you had to meet her, just goes to show how doors can be opened and always hinged on the love of our Lord! Small world, yes, small faith, NO WAY! Lovely story!

katie said...

Isn't HE amazing.
Your story brought me JOY

Tracy said...

WOW!!! What an amazing story! Soooo glad you obeyed that nudge my friend. God has definitely used you to inspire me (again!) Anxious to see if there is more to come from your friendship with this sister in the Lord. ((Big Hug!))

Jackie said...

Oh Lea, Thank you for sharing, what a blessing and reading it gave me joy too. But now...what will I do now that you have inspired me. The Holy Spirit has been nudging me to somehow share with a neighbor for some time. And I too have resisted, neglected, made excuses. Shameful. I just may steal the daisy idea, as soon as we get a little warmer weather. You see, my neighbor gardens too. Thanks again. Love to read your posts.

Laura said...

you, my friend, are love personified! what a sweet gift to give. sometimes i go on a joy hunt and i have found that loving my neighbor often delivers.
:)

Annette said...

What an awesome story! Made me cry. I identify so much with what you were writing about all the times we pass up opportunities to love God by loving his children. This is such a special post. I love it! Thank you so much for sharing! God bless you and your new gardening buddy! Annette

Rebecca said...

REALLY a wonderful story, Lea. I have a feeling its just the beginning for you! I've moved several times in my life and have learned if I want to learn to know people in the new community, I'm often the one who will have to make the "first move." That's OK. I carry Jesus with me :)

Yolanda said...

Lea,

I love the heart God has poured on the inside of you!!!! May your relationship with Miss Gardener prove to be more than you could even think or imagine.

Lovingly,
Yolanda

PS: JOY!

From the Heart said...

Have you been reading my mind? No, guess it was the Holy Spirit leading you to do exactly what I've wanted to do. Now if I can get the courage to follow through.
Thanks for sharing your story.
AliceE.

irene said...

Very convicted by this, I'm planting thyme too....to remind to use my thyme as God would have me and not as I think I have to....thanks dear friend for the reminder

Beautiful pear tree lane said...

Lea,
This is the best Post I have read in a long time,I am guilty as charged, and after reading this I need to regroup and act when that still small voice whispers for me to act.

I can just visualize you at her gate, and trying to decide whether or not to go in. lol. I am so glad you left it, and what a blessing you received, by blessings someone, How cool is that and what a great God we serve!!!

I am truly blessed by your obedience to the Spirit, what an encouragement you are to me.

I know she and you are going to exchange so much information with each other. I only wish we were neighbors we would have so much fun gardening together.
I love gerber daisies too, have I told you that I love all flowers? LOL and Herbs too!! lol Takes a gardener to know one!l lol

Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers, yes I do miss our maggie, and haven't given up on her coming home.
Sending much love your way.
Sue

Sit A Spell said...

I can just see you there pondering whether or not to enter and "break the law" lol and deciding to leave this happy little flower for your neighbor and go on your way. How amazing that God opened the door for you to see her so very soon after AND while she's on the phone to her sister, whom you know! I'm sure it was driv'n her batty wondering who left it there for her! How very special that she is also a women of God along with loving to get dirty! God is good.

Interesting thing happened last week after that airboat ride. Becky and I were still standing outside the coffeehouse and a fella approached us. He told us of all his woes and how he needed to find food for his children. (you know where I'm going w/ this) We asked many questions...he'd been at a local church that helps the needy etc but nobody was there. Normally my disernment kicks in and says, "don't be taken" but this time it didn't. Before giving him a bit of money, we talked with him about the Lord. Maybe we planted a seed and maybe we "watered" but the rest is up to him and the Lord. As you pointed out, he too is my neighbor.

I must confess, I was a bit "bothered" when he first walked up...didn't he realized I was spending my last few moments with my bloggy friend I've just met?! As I watch him walk away, the verse about "the least of these...you've done unto Me." went through my mind.

What a joy filled day that was.

Thanks for being my "neighbor", way down in Florida, and blessing me. I can't wait to hear more about Mrs Garden gate!

Mel said...

Lea, Thanks for sharing...

You have such a gift for writing. I love this post, it really touched my inner soul.

God is Great!

Blessings,
Mel