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  • Writer's pictureAlan and Jean McKinnell

Who is my neighbour?

Yesterday while standing in the queue at Asda there was someone there needing help.

We wouldn't normally have been in the same queue as this young man, we only had a few items in a basket but instead of going to the basket queue we went to a till, on top of that the young man had quite a few bulky items and was talking to the checkout operator, not a queue you would instinctively join with just a few items in your basket. Jean went to the toilet while I heard this man's predicament, he was buying some household items and wanted to know if they had some of the plastic storage chest of drawers, the woman was being very helpful, apparently he was walking and she suggested he leave some items at the customer service desk and come back later, he lived about 10 or 15 minutes walk away, as Jean returned to join me in the queue I said to her this man is needing help to get his items home. Jean started talking to him and we arranged to give him a lift home, he was now able to go and purchase the storage unit he wanted and get it home as well.

He had just arrived from Cardiff, got himself a job in a local hotel and was settling in to his new flat. He didn't know the name of the street but gave me his postcode, it was in Queens Road, just a couple of hundred yards from our flat. He was really thankful and had a wonderful smile, he had just moved to a completely new area, to a new job and a new flat but was just really beaming and happy to be here. We exchanged numbers and invited him for coffee when he settles in and if he needed any further help to just let us know. It can be lonely settling in to a new place far from friends and family (he had just come from living in Cardiff for four years but he is originally from Sri Lanka) but with his infectious smile and positive outlook I am sure he will soon settle in.

We stepped out to help a stranger and unknown to us he was quite literally our neighbour. Jesus however tells us that our neighbours aren't just the people who stay near us physically but those who need our help, and as we step out to help them, even in a small way such as giving them help to get their shopping home, then we are being good neighbours and as Jesus says, when you reach out to help someone in need, you are actually reaching out to Him. So today be on the lookout for someone needing help, pray and let the Holy Spirit guide you, even into the wrong (?) queue, and let God make your day as you make someone elses day.

Luke 10:25-37 New King James Version

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” 27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbour as yourself.’ ” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”

30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’

36 So which of these three do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?”

37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

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