Not a good day to discover I had a flat tyre and a non-functioning car jack.
It frankly hadn’t been a good week carwise. A few days earlier had required a call out from my friend Marty in MMK Autos Banbridge as the battery had died leaving me stranded.
This morning the cul-de-sac was quiet, most people at work or school or enjoying a lie-in. Eventually I walked with some reluctance over to my next door neighbour’s house and rang the bell. While Bertie is retired he was up and dressed and seemed ready for action. He quickly collected a wheelbrace from his garage, accompanied me home and insisted on helping me change the wheel. I was able to drive over to MMK where the lads, obliging as ever, soon had me roadworthy again.
Returning home that evening I discovered Bertie had called with the gift of a wheelbrace for me, for future emergencies. What a legend! It seems that he and some of his friends in their church collect useful stuff in a warehouse and send it out in containers to needy communities in developing countries. Just superb.
Now I’d been doing what I suggested in last week’s ‘Thought’, keeping my resolution to read a Psalm and chapter of a Gospel every morning and here’s the punchline: What did I read that morning in Luke ch 10? - Jesus’ parable of ‘the Good Samaritan’!
A religious person had correctly quoted the scripture about loving God and our neighbour but had then asked, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ Jesus doesn’t actually answer directly but tells the famous story of a man who is mugged and left for dead. Two religious people walk past, keeping themselves from ceremonial contamination. Technically they have kept the Law but have they really? Eventually a traveller from a despised, distrusted community takes pity and generously helps the victim. Our neighbour may come from a different people, place or background, but some day we might be glad to have him. So we should all seek to be good neighbours to anyone and everyone, especially those in need, isn’t that the point? Isn’t that how God has treated the world in giving us His Son?
So this goes out with a big thanks to legends like Bertie and MMK and a simple encouragement to us all to look for opportunities to give and help where we can.
We can all be a legend to someone today.