We had an unusual day last week. It was the day before spring began and in central NC we had another day of light snow and freezing rain. Not typical weather for this time of year. In fact, winter was working on getting its last laugh in our neighborhood.
My wife, Linda, was at home for another snow day with our children as the freezing rain stopped and the worst seemed over. Within just a few minutes, she heard a tree fall, and went outside to investigate. She saw the fallen tree in our neighbor’s yard and went to their front door. To her surprise the neighbor, had not heard the tree fall. The neighbor came out and was overwhelmed as she surveyed the damage. Linda offered to get our oldest boys to help clean it up. They began to remove the smaller branches and stack them in the yard working their way to main trunk.
The neighbor realized that it was close to noon and came to Linda troubled. She was perplexed as to what she should do. A family member had just been moved to a different facility. She was the main contact and responsible for overseeing the move. She did not feel she could leave her yard, while others were cleaning up. To this Linda asked, “Where do you think you are most needed?” She responded, “With my family member.” Linda then assured her that the tree clean-up would be completely taken care of and she should leave. She said, “I’ve never had anyone take care of something like this and expect nothing in return.” The neighbor left to see her family member, while Linda, the boys and others finished cleaning and removing the tree.
The neighbor came to our home the next day. She had come back to see Linda and to say thank you. Living in an area, where schedules and routines sometimes overtake the needs of others, she told Linda, “I did not know what a true neighbor was until you moved beside me. A true neighbor gives. . . you had others volunteer to help that don’t even know me.” She continued on expressing her gratitude.
A legal scholar is asked by Jesus, “what is written in the Law?”; the end of the scholar’s response is to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ To this Jesus says, “You have answered correctly. . .” (Luke 10:26-28). The simple act of seeking to serve those closest to us can make difference in the world around us. This difference is significant. Without much fanfare, this is exactly what Linda did. Success is doing something with excellence to benefit myself; significance is doing something with excellence to benefit others. Are you seeking to love your neighbor as yourself? How are you or have you served others to make a significant difference in their life?
Keep Reading: The Law of Process.