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Cindy Dennis

Executive Director

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

This past week, my husband and I saw the new Mr. Rogers documentary, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

I loved how every episode of Mr. Rogers’ show started out with this catchy theme song,

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,

A beautiful day for a neighbor

Would you be mine – could you be mine?

Won’t you be my neighbor?

Hearing the phrase, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” makes me think of the Good Samaritan Parable found in Luke 10:25-37 where Jesus is asked in verse 37 by a young scholar to clarify, “Who is my neighbor?” The word “neighbor” in the Greek means “someone who is near,” and in the Hebrew it means “someone that you have an association with.” In other words, our neighbor is anyone we encounter.

Not long ago I was asked why I want to do what I do with reaching out to my community with food give-a-ways, special events, and workshops. I told that individual that this is my neighborhood and these individuals are my “neighbors” and that is what neighbors do. You get to know them, share life with them, hear their stories and experience their pain.

It was nine years ago that God challenged me to reach out to the community and decide to make them my “neighbors.” They just might not know it yet, but over time, it is wonderful to see the fruits of what loving deeply and caring unconditionally does.

When we had our food give-a-way Saturday, I loved talking to as many individuals as I could. What a joy it was to see people I have come to know over the years and it was fun to make “new” neighbors with those I just met.

You might be asking yourself as I did, “What difference can one person make?

I can tell you, you can make a “big” difference by simple deciding to be “neighborly.” Get to know your “neighbors,” get to know their name. With the magnitude of problems in the world, it is amazing how a simple smile can bring hope to the hearts of others. It will require faith to step out of the boat and allow God to lead you to the “neighbors” He wants you to meet. It will require faith to believe that one act of kindness is going to make a difference.

Jesus said this in Matthew 25:34-40 TLB:

“‘Come, blessed of my Father, into the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me water; I was a stranger and you invited me into your homes;36 naked and you clothed me; sick and in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Sir, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you anything to drink? 38 Or a stranger, and help you? Or naked, and clothe you? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’

40 “And I, the King, will tell them, ‘When you did it to these my brothers, you were doing it to me!’”

Getting back to the Good Samaritan Parable, we are challenged to show compassion and love for those we encounter in our everyday activities. We are to love others unconditionally regardless of their race or religion.

Our focus should be on their “need” and the opportunity to be “neighborly” because that is what good neighbors do.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,

A beautiful day for a neighbor

Would you be mine – could you be mine?

Won’t you be my neighbor?

Blessings, Cindy



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