The Cared for Traveller

 In Loving our Neighbour

Love your neighbour and he will love you back.

The good Samaritan helped the beaten up traveller. This great biblical story has shaped the view of our relationship to our neighbours. In line with the story, loving our neighbour means for many of us: to help people whom we normally avoid. These people are in desperately helpless situations and totally depend on us.

A picture of an heroic one-way relationship. But the reality is different – if we take action and love those who God seems to randomly put in our way, we will find that we will get a great deal of love back.

We have many Muslim neighbours and have been involved with Ministry to Muslim immigrants for many years. They are people who are avoided and looked down upon with suspicion by many. Recently we were preparing to go on furlough. My wife left for our home country three weeks early and I was blessed to reap the fruits of her love for our Muslim neighbours. Several times different ladies delivered meals they had cooked for the children and myself. But more than that, a whole group of Muslim ladies showed their great concern for our family. One day I arranged for our youngest daughter to walk a different way home from school and when the ladies didn’t see her walking home the usual way, they went all the way back to the school, looking for her everywhere. When they were unable to find her, they came all the way to our home to make sure our girl was ok.

Upon returning home from furlough I became quite sick. When my Muslim friends rang me to welcome me back to Australia and realised I was sick, they immediately came to visit. Five of them came all together. According to their culture, it is not good to be alone when you are sick. Once everybody realised that I had a bad cold with strong coughing, they had a discussion among themselves about what the best remedy for such an infliction was. It was decided that a soup made of sheep’s neck and some special turnip would cure the sickness. They left to go shopping and cook their special remedy for me. I clearly felt much more like the cared for traveller than the Samaritan, and that is what it is all about: Love your neighbour and he will love you back.

Kevin Thomas (name changed)

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