Love Our Neighbor

As I am constantly perusing the Internet and other reader blogs, there are at times those writings that catch my attention. There are those words of wisdom that speak to the heart, mind, and soul of me, and if you know me well, you know the personality of me will always want to pass it along to others. Therefore, without further ado, here is an excerpt from Keep the Faith – A reader blog about liberal religion with Rev. Ellen Cooper-Davis | “Love Thy Neighbor” Wasn’t Optional, Saturday, September 29, 2012

“There is no neighborhood without neighbors. A neighborhood is not a collection of houses, boxes of potential cash to be jealously guarded, gated and made into fortresses. A neighborhood is a community of human lives and stories, of shared experiences and connection. A neighborhood is not private property, it is a commonwealth where people make a home, raise new generations, unwrap the gifts of a lifetime. Neighborhoods are vibrant, life-filled communities precisely because we do not choose our neighbors. Instead, they are places where we are called to practice the hard, messy work of being in community with those who are different from us; whose voices and stories and songs sound different from ours; whose food and pleasures and dreams taste different from ours.  Neighborhoods are places where we all should know welcome and support. Not exile and isolation.

In the religiously liberal tradition, we understand that the Truth about the world, the Divine, human nature–it’s all continually unfolding.  New discoveries bring new wisdom. New people bring new depth and insight. Any human being that crosses our path, be them sage or child, grandparent or stranger, powerful or dwelling humbly among the least of these–any human life and story can profoundly enrich and affect our own or the world’s. New neighbors bring new truth. We are all harbingers of transformation, all bearers of truth, all teachers of love.

The mitzvah is clear. We are not only to love the neighbor that looks and talks like us. Not only the neighbor that votes and worships like us. We are not to love only the neighbor whose car is as nice as ours, or whose family is put together like ours is. We are simply to Love our Neighbor.” Read the Full Story Here

It was a nice reminder that without practicing love, we cannot fully know of the love that comes through our vital connections – to our higher self, to others, and to a greater power and presence. We must connect in right and meaningful ways with those both similar and different from ourselves, if ever we are to experience the fullness of love and community. Reach out to neighbors both near and far and surely, you too will be “bearers of truth, all teachers of love.”

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