Coco Calling No. 89 - Who is my neighbour?
Some of you may remember that I have a very good friend -(who likes all parrots) -called Penny Lawson. In fact, last year, I sent her a Valentine’s Card made of feathers.
A few days ago, Penny told me a moving story which I’d like to share with you. She’d gone shopping to a nearby town, and was about to climb up some steps to go into a large store. Coming down the steps was an elderly man clasping three big bunches of flowers. The flowers looked stunning and included lots of red roses.
As they passed, Penny said to the man: “Oh, somebody’s going to be very lucky!” But the man didn’t respond in the way she’d expected. Instead, his eyes welled up, and he replied that he was taking them to his wife’s grave. She had died some eight months previously. They’d been married for over 60 years, and he was still torn apart by the grief of her loss. As he spoke, the tears began to fall down his face, to such an extent that they splattered onto the ground below.
Instinctively, Penny took the man to one side and gave him a big hug. But it was much more than a hug. It was a meeting of spirits. For a few moments, nothing else existed around them. And through that hug, Penny was able to convey the love, the compassion and the presence of God. It didn’t need a speech, a sermon, or a prayer said out loud. No, just a simple hug.
And presently, the two of them went on their respective ways, with Penny vowing to herself that she would pray for the man over the coming weeks.
At any given moment, there will be lots of folk milling around struggling under the weight of their personal burdens. Some will be trapped inside their own kind of bubble, consumed by their suffering. Others will simply be wanting someone to notice them.
The Bible gives us the famous story of “The Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:30-37), and Penny’s story shows how we can all be modern day “Good Samaritans” if we simply take the time and trouble to look out for one another. To help others as we ourselves would like to be helped in the same situation. To allow God to flow through us so that we respond in the right way at the right time. And if we can do that, we will help to spread God’s love into the world around us……..