Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Neighbor


[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it--a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil. (Hebrews 6:19 AMP)

The death of pop star Whitney Houston has me thinking, but perhaps not along the lines of everyone else. It's hard to talk about death and not step on someone's toes, and that is not my intent here. Her death is sad, yes. I refuse to pass judgment on her life or whether or not she had the life of Christ in her or not. I can make my own guess, but in the end, I know no more than anyone else.

My thoughts turn instead in another direction. I do this each time someone famous passes away. Whether it's a Hollywood star, a national political figure, or a local service man of some sort, I always find myself thinking about the unknown people. You know the type. They are all those who have passed and no one remarked on it.

I watch the news and see horrific stories about tragedies involving families and children. There have been a couple aired lately. What of those children? What of that wife or mother? Was anyone paying attention to what was happening in the days that led up to their deaths? How many people stopped and mourned for them?

What about the homeless man or the prostitute or the gang member? What of those on foreign soil? Who mourned the child in Africa who couldn't find food? Who mourned the orphan? I think these thoughts and I find myself convicted.

Kenneth Copeland said in his book, "THE BLESSING":

Rather than seeing ourselves as the people in need, we should see ourselves as the ones who meet those needs because we have inherited Jesus' ministry.

This thought convicts me. There is always so much left undone, so many lives we could have helped and yet...Yet we didn't.

Hebrews 6:19 speaks of a sure hope, a steadfast anchor of the soul. I rejoice in this. God has delivered me from so much in my life, yet despite all of that, this hope is not mine alone. This steadfast anchor of the soul is for everyone else. It is for all those unknown people.

I remember an occasion a couple years ago. I was at Walmart in the checkout line when I witnessed a couple and their four children being escorted out the door. The children ranged in age from an infant to perhaps 7 or 8. Dirty and unkempt, their clothing stained, my heart broke and I heard the Lord's words in my heart.

"Who will pray for these children?"

I will, Lord. And I have. Every time I go to pray for myself, I see their faces. For prayer is not meant to be selfish. Jesus said, "Go the whole world over, and proclaim the Good News to all mankind." (Mark 16:15 WNT) All mankind includes all the unknowns. They are the people I avoid, the people I don't get along with, the people who pass away silently and no one notices.

I am sad for Whitney Houston's passing. I am sad for Bobby Brown, who I heard ran off stage during his performance. Perhaps their lives were not what they should have been. But again, it's not my job to judge. However, neither can I let the light of her passing overshadow that of my neighbor.

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. (Luke 10:36-37)

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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