Even so, out of everyone in the office, I think that I was the one who got along best with Laura (yes, it IS hard to be this saint-like, thanks for asking). But even so, that’s not saying much. Laura knew how to annoy me and push my buttons.
Then came that fateful day: a day before I had to give a big presentation. As I usually did, I had planned out every detail, worked hard, and was going to be done with plenty of time to spare! And then the earth shook. (Actually, it was a very minor earthquake that is pretty common in the part of California that I used to live in). Nevertheless, this particular earthquake temporarily knocked out the power in my office, causing my computer to shut down. It caused me to lose six hours’ worth of work (I should really save my work more often).
I walked around the office in a daze, not knowing what I would do next. Everything seemed out of focus. The next thing I knew, Laura grabbed me by the hand, pulled a chair up to my desk, and spent the next hour and a half helping me put my presentation back together.
We like to listen to the story of the Good Samaritan and place ourselves in the role of the hero. But so often it’s the other way around. I bet the man who the Samaritan saved had his own prejudices and would never have considered the man who saved his life to be his neighbor.
So I thank God we don’t get to choose our neighbors. Because the neighbors who annoy us suck the energy out of us, or the ones who challenge us the most are the ones in whom we can most clearly see the face of God.
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him” (Luke 10:36-37, NIV).
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Jael Amador writes from New York.© 2002 - 2023, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.