In Genesis we learn that God has created people to live in community. Adam and Eve are indeed “made for each other.” But it doesn’t stop there. We transport seeds that stick to our clothing. Working animals and those we claim as pets continue with us even in our increasingly mechanized and robotic age. Our world is filled with billions of people (and a vast multitude of other life forms that share the earth with us) who are our potential neighbors. Sometimes we choose our fellow travelers, and other times we are the chosen. Then there are those times when we are thrown together by chance or an indecipherable Providence (some of my best and most long-standing friends have come my way via that route). As it says in a 1938 movie title, “Gold is where you find it.” So it is with our companions. All of a sudden, pow! A neighbor shows up. How did that happen?
We’re all pilgrims, wayfarers, in this life. In whatever way we come together, at least one thing remains constant: those with whom we live and move and have our being are God’s beloved children or God’s beloved creation. They may not always act like it—nor do we—but the love of God “doubles down” in the person of Christ Jesus. We are wise and blessed to respond in turn with the love that is ours. God help us to be neighborly to all we meet.
The Picture: The Marbled Orb Weaver spider on my cap somehow made a temporary home for itself between my cap and my head. It hitched a ride from a trail near Powhite Creek. It was quite the surprise when I discovered it. While it was a colorful companion, I was glad to set it free (even though I read its bite is not poisonous). It crawled off into a neighbor’s yard. Our time of traveling together through life was over. I wonder how it’s managing.
A Prayer: God, you have set us in a world filled with beauty, surprise, and opportunity. Give us appreciation, flexibility, and the wherewithal to seize each day with joy for what your creation offers. We thank you for your love that is infused throughout all that exists—seen and unseen, known and unknown. Through Christ we pray. Amen.