My Neighbor, Mr. Andrew
Updated: Mar 4, 2019
Do you know the two greatest commandments? To sum it up, the first & greatest thing we are all called to do is Love God. The second greatest thing we are all called to do is Love our Neighbor (Matt. 22:37-39). Neighbor is defined as one living or located near another. If you think about this, people are located "near" us all the time. Coworkers we see everyday but may not particularly like, homeless people we may pass in a park, waiters that may not have the best attitude, and definitely the strangers that walk up and spark conversations are our neighbors. Neighbor = one who is near us.
Sunday, while doing some photography at the Historic 16th Baptist Church, I met a sweet man named Mr. Andrew. Mr. Andrew was gracious enough to treat me as a neighbor. He was open enough to see an opportunity to extend love. He was bold enough to approach people he didn't know and through love, ask if we wanted to hear some information about the terrible bombing that occurred there in 1963. He stated that he does this every Sunday as a way to give back to the community.
I wonder how many people simply dismiss Mr. Andrew when he approaches them due to the way he looks or the way he talks. Whether looking through the lens of Mr. Andrew or others he may approach, I think the lesson of stepping outside of our comfort zone is pretty important in helping us all love our neighbors more. I was very eager to listen to him. Life has taught me that we can learn something from everyone we encounter.
Two Things I Learned From Mr. Andrew
1. Recognize Your Opportunities & Step Outside Of Your Comfort Zone
Loving our neighbors includes the people who are different from us & the people we aren't close with. Hold the door open for someone, spark up a conversation with a stranger, give someone you never speak to a compliment. We must recognize our opportunities and act on them through love, even if it's uncomfortable, awkward, or just not normal for us.
2. Giving = Loving Our Neighbors
In most cases, if you just give someone your time, it's the ultimate act of love.
I'm so grateful Mr. Andrew and I gave each other our time. It was through that time, I learned these simple things.