Mister Rogers invited millions of strangers into his home, treating them all as though they were his best friends. Every TV episode ended with these lyrics, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” Now according to him, loving strangers or foreigners, should simply be a piece of cake. Years later, when it was time to set childish things aside (1 Corinthians 13:11), I outgrew his show and became the wife of a corporate executive which involved thirty some moves across the country. Much to my surprise and dismay, one neighbor, in particular, did not exactly leave those same lyrics strumming in my heart.
Neighbors. They aren’t classified as friends, but they have the potential to become one. They aren’t our enemies, but they have the potential to fill those shoes as well. The relationship possibilities are endless. So, the big question is, “how can one obey Jesus and always “love thy neighbor?”
Lesson one. Don’t covet their stuff. (Exodus 20:17). Wipe that drool off your face when you see them driving into their laneway in that brand new metallic blue Lamborghini. Lesson two. Never hold a grudge against them. (Leviticus 19:18). Not even if they are purposely ignoring your two-handed wave, hoping to be invited over for a better look. Lesson three. Be humble, gentle, patient and peaceful. (Ephesians 4; 2-6). Bottom line, whether we like it or not, our lives spill over into each other’s private space, so treat them in the same respectful way that you want to be treated. It takes a conscious effort and lots of determination to break down barriers that might prevent us from sharing God’s love.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7.
In conclusion, as Mister Rogers would say, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine? “Won’t you be my neighbor?