Loving your neighbour take 2
“… thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and … thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37-39)
My husband and I have the joy of providing some childcare for our little grandson. Our son and his wife live in a different area of London, so we have been able to explore some new places near to their home. A firm favourite is now a walled garden that is open to the public. It has many visitors who seek out this little oasis to enjoy the shelter, the many benches, the beautiful floral display and the takeaway delights of the nearby café. One thing that has struck me is that no matter what the weather conditions, there is always a group of volunteers tending to the garden. Over the months we have watched the steady progress of weeding, deadheading, the filling of many watering cans when it had been so dry (which seems hard to believe now!) and all the many other tasks carefully undertaken by this trusty team. This has provided endless interest for our toddler – though the deadheading was rather tricky to explain after having always told him not to pull the heads off flowers! And as the spring has progressed, a beautiful retreat has evolved before our eyes, enjoyed by so many and created thanks to the diligence of those volunteers.
This has made me think about what can be achieved over time by those prepared to quietly and beautifully serve. As Christians we are called to serve others, and can take as our example the works of Jesus, where we see his selfless ministry of teaching, praying and healing and the ultimate sacrifice of dying for our sins. So, what can we organise ourselves to do - like those dedicated gardeners - to faithfully and steadily enhance the experience of our neighbours on Earth?
Heavenly Father, thank you that you have a purpose for us all. Help us to willingly partner with you to meet the needs of others and, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, reflect your love to those around us. Amen