October 27, 2010

No Strings

Even though I was unable to go running for more than a week, and although the General Conference building was closed for several days, I still woke up every morning at 5:00 and walked through the neighborhood. A plow came through once in the early stages of the storm, but our street stayed mostly impassable to vehicular traffic.
One morning I noticed a woman, a nurse on her way to her shift at the hospital, trying to back the car out of her driveway and head up the hill. I helped get her car unstuck, then I sent her downhill with the warning “Don’t stop for anything!”
The next morning I spotted a man trying to get his work van out of his driveway. He and I rocked it, dug around the rear tires, and finally got it out onto the packed snow that covered the pavement.
When our neighborhood road became mostly passable, I helped a young woman get her car off the road and up her long, ice-covered driveway (I pushed and shouted, “Go, go, go!”).
After each encounter I was thanked and asked, “What’s your name? Where do you live?”
“I’m Steve; I live at the bottom of the hill.”
I suppose I could’ve added, “I’m a Seventh-day Adventist, and I helped you because I want you to know that Jesus loves you.”
But it occurs to me that too many people do things to call attention to themselves or their causes. If they get a few seconds on TV or a few column inches in the newspaper, so much the better.
But Jesus calls us to love our neighbors not to draw attention to ourselves or to our causes, but because it’s the neighborly thing to do.
Stephen Chavez is the managing editor of the Adventist Review. This article was published October 28, 2010.