The mother had acquired the name “Crazy Annie” because of her strange actions (we only called her that behind her back) and I was nervous about having to see her. But she was very welcoming to me and asked about how our family was getting on. She was so concerned about my mother that she went right outside and cut a bunch of flowers from her garden for me to five my mother.
In that experience I learned that “Crazy Annie” wasn’t quite so crazy. She may not have acted and dressed exactly like everyone else in the neighborhood but she had a kind and caring heart.
After telling the story of the Good Samaritan to the expert in the law, what does Jesus ask? What does the expert answer? What is Jesus’ command?
The story of the Good Samaritan is something most of us are familiar with. With that familiarity and the distance of time and difference of culture we may not fully comprehend the shock value. To have a Samaritan show kindness to a Jew (the man who was robbed) would be difficult for the expert in the law to accept. But Jesus has supplied him with new knowledge. Jesus taught him how to understand the stranger a little better.
As we grow in our faith we must add knowledge to who we are so that we might love others. Knowledge lets us know that we are all neighbors and that the term “neighbor” is not limited to those who live within sight of our house, or who live within the boundaries of our community. We are all neighbors to one another in that we share the earth with all cultures and beliefs and behaviors.
We may not have to accept them all – that is, we do not have to approve of and endorse what others do and how they live – but we must learn to love others in the same way that God loves others.
DAILY CHALLENGE: What knowledge do you need to help you love your neighbor?