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The Gift of Attention

“Who is my neighbor?” That’s the question Jesus was answering when he told the parable of the Good Samaritan. (This story, from Luke 10:25-37, is familiar, but if you haven’t read it in a while, take a moment to reflect on the story from a fresh perspective.)

I can empathize with the man who asked Jesus this question. I understand where he’s coming from. My heart also longs to live in the way of Christ—the way of eternal life. Like this man, I am privileged to be familiar with the teachings of scripture: I know I am called to “love the Lord your God” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). But, like the man in this story, I could use more detail on what that means. Who, exactly, is my neighbor?

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Equally beautiful and frustrating, Jesus responds to this question with a story. A nameless man who falls into the hands of robbers is left for dead on the side of a road. Two religious leaders see him and cross to the other side to avoid him. A Samaritan man sees him and goes out of his way to help.

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor…?” Jesus asks (Luke 10:36), turning the question back on itself rather than answering it.

It would be nice to know exactly who Jesus wants us to love, but instead he tells a story that speaks to our hearts. He speaks to the way we walk through the world in our everyday lives. Are we oriented to give our attention to people in need? Do we lift our gaze to meet the eyes of the suffering? Or do we look away?

Every Home is a global fellowship of believers who, like you, don’t look away. When you give and pray in support of this vision, you are being a neighbor to people in need all over the world. You are equipping and resourcing believers who are carrying Christ to their neighbors, making sure no one is left without care on the side of the road.

This month, we’re sharing some of their stories. I pray these are an inspiration to you. May they be simple reminders to us, as we follow Christ, to continue offering the gift of our attention and care to our neighbors—whomever they might be. Thank you for joining us.

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