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Posts Tagged ‘love one another’

Collage art by Tema Okun

Collage art by Tema Okun

Before Mike died, I struggled with “loving” others who were in grief situations. I kept thinking, I don’t know what to do, how can I help? But then, I saw the simple truth of it. Jesus already told us what to do, not only in the “golden rule” [Matthew 7:12] but in one of the greatest commandments: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” [Matthew 22:37-40, CEB]

So, this is what others did for me while I floundered about in the days and weeks after Mike’s death:

  • Sat in my house and waited for me the first night, so I wouldn’t be alone.
  • Dog-sat my pups in their home while the household was in chaos.
  • Cleaned my house.
  • Stocked my pantry with paper goods.
  • Not just brought meals, but coordinated them.
  • Created to-do lists.
  • Made phone calls. Filtered phone calls.
  • Went grocery shopping for me.
  • Filed my paperwork and cleaned my home office.
  • Kept my kitchen clean and clear.
  • Made meals for extended family.
  • Offered guest rooms for extended family.
  • Drove to the airport. Again and again.
  • Made breakfast.
  • Stocked me up with breakfast foods and coffee.
  • Shoveled snow. Again and again.
  • Took me out to lunch.
  • Created memory posters and organized photographs.
  • Offered to create a scrapbook of sympathy cards.
  • Took truckloads to the dump.
  • Delivered donations.
  • Sold two of my cars and found a replacement.
  • Stocked us up with pet food.
  • Took pictures.
  • Gave me rides, even when I could have driven myself.
  • Listened.
  • Sat with me.
  • Cried with me.
  • Sang to me.
  • Sent follow up cards to check in.
  • Invited me over for dinner. Just me. Even though, it was just me.
  • Brought over little kids who made me laugh.
  • Took the little kids home again.
  • Fixed my toilet. And then the second one. Oh, and the third one.
  • Came over to play games just for fun. Played cards.
  • Did my laundry.

The list goes on actually. There are still many people teaching me what to do the next time. The things people did were simple and often times, quick. But they all meant so much. They still mean so much.

Yup. I get it. I can love you like this too. It’s another way to serve one another. And maybe, just maybe, once I find to strength to love my near neighbor, my heart will reach further away.

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