Advent 2023 – Day 19

Advent is quickly passing. Thanks for continuing to travel on this journey with me. Today we add another dimension to our “Legacy of Faith.”

When I was a new mom, nothing in my life had prepared me for the incredible responsibility of parenting. My college education did nothing to impress an infant that demanded I set aside every one of my priorities and meet his needs. My mother was several hundred miles away. My husband was at work. Alone with a newborn, I felt overwhelmed. I wondered if my son would ever recognize me if I stopped crying.

Enter a category of people who left another imprint of my legacy of faith: my neighbors. Bernice and Mary lived on each side of our home. Both were experienced grandmothers. I would show up on Bernice’s doorstep, carrying my squalling child. Tears ran down my cheeks. If Bernice was not home, I would turn and cross the lawn to Mary’s house. Mary would take one look at the two of us and invite us in. She would set a mug of hot tea in front of me and put my son on her shoulder, rocking him gently. Her relaxed embrace calmed Tim, her tea calmed his mother.

My son probably has no idea how much he owes to those kind neighbors. I know their kindness made a huge difference in developing my confidence as a mother.

We don’t know Jesus’ childhood neighbors, but he did answer the question, “Who is my neighbor?” In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10), Jesus made it clear that a neighbor is not only the person who lives next door but that person who cares for a person in need.

If you are a baker, why not take a plate of Christmas cookies or a loaf of bread next door to a neighbor today? And if you feel hopeless in the kitchen, why not pick up a carnation or two at your local Walmart or Target and offer it to neighbor? Don’t forget to add a measure of thanks for their part in your life.


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