Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Two Young Friends

I met her when I was in grad school.  We had class together all day on Saturday — two four-hour courses back to back with a 90-minute lunch break in between.  She hopped in my car to go grab a bite to eat a few times, and as the weeks went by we learned a little bit about each other.  She taught Spanish.  I taught English.  She taught in a public school.  I taught in a private school.  She was divorced.  I had never been married.  She was seeking spiritually.  I knew well who she was seeking.  She had questions.  I shared my heart.

One Saturday, she mentioned casually that she had visited a church close to her home a few times.  She wanted to buy a Bible.  She asked me if I could help her.  I met her for lunch, and we hit the Bible bookstore.  I was delighted to find her a Spanish-English Bible with parallel texts in two languages.  Perfect.

Every week, she came with questions:  Where in the Bible does it talk about this?  What do you say to the Jehovah’s Witness people who come to your door?  How do I tell my family about my faith?  She was blossoming right before my eyes.  Beautiful.  She was in love with my Savior.  Simply beautiful.

Christian radio became her school.  “Do you know about this speaker?  He comes on Friday evenings at 6:30.  I listen every week.  Yesterday, he talked about the gifts of the Spirit.”  Her appetite for spiritual things started to challenge me.

“Do you have an accountability partner?”  she asked one day.  Grad school was far behind us, but the friendship had continued.

I thought about her question:  No, I don’t have an accountability partner, but I wanted one.  I had prayed about.  I had prayed off and on for years.

That was over a decade ago.

We still meet.  Two women looking each other eye to eye and answering tough questions:

  • How has God blessed you since we met last time?
  • What thought has consumed your thoughts this week?
  • Are the “visible you” and the “real you” consistent?
  • How is your relationship with Christ changing?
  • How have you helped someone in need?

I am indebted to my friend.   She helps me stay on the straight path.  She prays for me.  She knows my ugly stuff, and she loves me.  She believes in me.

This past week, I sat on my couch with eyes glued to CNN absorbing the horrifying details of a monstrous injustice.  Neighbors, family members, band mates — a whole community stood close by but never really knew a man.  They talked about superficial things.  They stood in his doorway, but never shed light in dark corners.  For a decade, darkness grew and poisoned a neighborhood without anyone taking notice.

I don’t want to make that same mistake.  I want to open my doors wide and let the sun shine in.  In his letter to the Ephesian church, Paul urges us to “walk in a worthy manner”  — he elaborates by stating:

“Therefore, having put away falsehood,

let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor,

for we are members one of another” (vs. 25, ESV)

The life of a disciple requires some form of accountability.  We must speak truth to our neighbor and allow our spiritual sister to come “sit for a spell” in the parlor of our heart.  She will have “an eye” for things that you might miss — letting her in will make your heart a more inviting place to visit.

Q4U:  Do you have an accountability partner who regularly visits your neighborhood?

Here is a free gift for you to share with your neighbor:  ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONS

2 friend with wording

 

 

 

 

+++

My one-word focus for the year is “fruitilicious.”  Find out what that means here.

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Faith-Filled Friday, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Tell His Story, Playdates with God, Hear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday, and Soli Deo Gloria.

+++

Photo Credit