Sunday, December 22, 2013
At 11:00 this morning, still in my pajamas, I was sitting down to start blogging when the door bell rang. It was my neighbor's daughter. (I will call her Jeana.) She was locked out of her house and her phone battery was dead. I invited her in. First things first, we found a phone charger and then I offered Jeana the healing balm of a Ghirardelli brownie. Now, this doesn't sound like an out of the ordinary event for a late Sunday morning, but to me- it was extraordinary. I've only met Jeana a few times. However, I feel I know her. I know her because her life's situation mirrors my sisters'. Jeana is a single mother and struggles with addiction. My sisters are single mothers and addicts as well. I felt so much love for Jeana as we talked about our commonalities; love, fear, guilt, shame and hope.
My kids were heroes--allowing me to indulge in conversation while they got ready for church on their own. Natalie reminded me it was 12:30 and I had a short time to get ready for church. I excused myself from Jeana and went and took a shower. I told my kids to go on to church without me. Sarah volunteered to take the kids on her own. I continued to get ready as Jeana kept checking to see if her parents had returned home. With still no way into her house, I asked her if she wanted to walk with me to church. With a good charge on her phone, Jeana agreed to walk with me. A mile and a half later and sweating (thank you California December weather!!) Jeana and I walked into the chapel. The Christmas program was lovely- but all I could think about was Jeana and her openness and vulnerability in trusting me enough to knock on my door and then to walk with me...
After the Christmas program was over, Jeana asked if I could take her home. She said her parents would be home shortly. I got the van keys from Scott and drove her back the mile and half we had just walked. Jeana expressed her gratitude for our time together. I told her she had made my Christmas. Earlier in our conversation, I shared with Jeana that I am unable to help my sisters in a physical way because of my living in a different state. And yet, I pray that if I extend a hand to someone--that maybe God will guide someone to my sisters and they will invite my sisters in and "charge their batteries."
In the parable of the good Samaritan, we often think of the Samaritan as the hero because of his good deeds. But I believe there is something more in "helping" our neighbor than in the described actions of the Samaritan. I believe the Samaritan felt humbled that God had placed someone in his path that he could love. Someone that he could serve to show his love for his brother and as an extension--his God. I can not claim the highest level of loving my neighbor--I invited Jeana in my life today in hope that someone will invite my sisters in, love them and maybe- just maybe walk with them.