Friday, October 20, 2006

The one person I didn't ask...

I've lived in this house for nearly 5 years now, and for those 5 years, my next door neighbor has continuously done small, kind things. From taking my trash to the curb to telling me someone used my water hose while I was at work.
One thing I discovered recently was that he not only takes my trash to the curb sometimes, but he takes out my discarded food items from the trash. He's not all there mentally, and he's easily confused if things aren't as they should be. He has no telephone and needs to call a cab every day to take him to work. So I let him in to use the phone.
It started slowly, he was just using the phone, and then I was giving him something to drink because apparently his water is turned off. Now he makes extra trips over just to visit with me.
I happened to mention this to my dad, and I was immediately advised to stop. It wasn't safe, and it wasn't "appropriate" for me to have a man in my home.
I stopped.
I could have cried when he would come by and ring the doorbell and I ignored it. When I'd see him outside the next day he'd tell me he came by but that I'd been sleeping. Everything about locking this man out felt deep down, gut-wrenching painfully wrong.
I know that everything I'd like to do, might not be appropriate for me to do. I understand this. That's why I wanted a guideline to follow, a simple principal that I can place my actions up to and go "there, this is right/wrong". I began asking WWJDAASF (What would Jesus Do As A Single Female) OR WWJAASF (What Would Jesus Advise A Single Female). I came up with nothing. The few people I asked told me to follow the Holy Spirits leading. But honestly, if the Holy Spirit had been leading me to not let the man in my home, I wouldn't have done it in the first place.
So, I was stuck.
Wednesday night, my answer came from the best person to ask, that I had failed to ask; my pastor.
Knowing nothing of my situation the pastor began to teach.
Acts 9: 1 - 5
1And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Then he went on to read Matthew 25:31-46
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

The pastors point (referring back to Saul) is that the rude/bad things we've done to others, we've done to God as well. And immediately I knew exactly what Jesus would advise a single female.

At some point, whether others think it's appropriate or safe, I have to remember that when I'm doing something for the least I've done it unto God. Whether that be giving out the glass of water to my neighbor or leaving my neighbor outside. There are changes I can make in what I'm doing, primarily telling my neighbor he can't come visiting after dark. But other than that, my decision is made.


Glenda said...

I just wanted to say this was an excellent blog. We have this lady that comes in the store that I work at and she is homeless and I have been repenting for my atitude towards her. I haven't been very nice because she takes advantage of the coffee that we sell and samples that we place on the counter. Mostly my atitude was prompted by my bosses atitude. I nev er realized how much influence the people around you actually have in your decisions. Thanks again for reminding me.

One Sided said...

I drive a couple to church every week, I take them grocery shopping after church. I have been told that they will never stnad on their own two feet as long as others keep helping them. How can others not help?