As small children we lived in a little community called Heart Heaven. A community which was "consumed" in the big consolidation by Jacksonville and Duval County back in 1968. The consolidation which made Jacksonville the largest City (by land mass) in the United States.
We had moved from Heart Heaven long before that occurred but all four of us girls have memories of that little one-and-a-half story house and the huge, huge old oak that covered the front yard. The house was very cottage like as I remember with the upstairs amounting to what would have been a tall converted attic. It was actually not a conversion the house had been designed that way. If you can image that, you can see the high center peaked ceiling with long slopes to a short side where the walls met the beginning of the peak. The stairway was tall and large taking up what seemed to be about half of the elongated 24 foot length of the front room. There was a great little room under the stairway for storage.
My thoughts are not now about the house but the neighbors, one in particular. I never knew her name, never saw anyone pull up to visit her, never saw a smile on her face. We all called her "the witch" and we believed that she was. I can remember walking down the road and speeding up as we passed her broken down old house, the yard over grown with foliage, without anyone to care for it. Yes the weeds and vines were so over grown you could barely see the front of the little old wooden house. She was quite elderly as I recall, she had long stringy greyed hair that was a mess and as we passed her place, she would glare at us as if she was going to boil us up in a pot and eat us if we entered her yard. A child's imagination, what can I say!
It is obvious to me now that she must have been a broken old woman with maybe no family left, no one to come and clean her yard which she wasn't capable of doing herself. No one to help or encourage her about tending to her hair and clothes, no one to smile at her or that cared about her.
I think of her now with empathy and compassion. Oh! I'm sure she has long since passed on but, "the witch" is still a prominent childhood memory for me. As I look at the world today being a 60 year old woman myself, to whom daily life tasks become more and more difficult as the years roll by, I wonder how many others like her live today with no one who cares. I wonder how someone can live a life deserving of that. I wonder how she ended up that way, I wonder if it's her fault or the worlds? I wonder did she know Jesus Christ - I wonder am I "speeding up" past someones house today in my neighborhood, that is alone and without anyone who cares?
The Lord want's us to be careful not to enable the lazy of the world I'm sure of that, however, He also want's us to reach out to care, share and spread His love with anyone who needs His love and care in their life. I wonder if I've been paying enough attention!
As Christ was careful not to pass anyone by, the beggar, the blind, the prostitute, the ill, as He cared for everyone as they were all equal as His Father's children, as He stopped in immediate attention for those in need, so should we.
I think I 'll bake some brownies this morning and go visit (check on) my neighbors, "just a thought for today".
God bless you richly and may you each be on a mission to seek someone with whom to share God's love today.
Your sister in Christ,
But [first] I will step forward to contend against you, and I will act as a relentless accuser against those who have no fear of Me: Who practice sorcery, who commit adultery, who swear falsely, who cheat laborers of their hire, and who subvert [the cause of] the widow, orphan and stranger, said the Lord of Hosts.
John15:12 This is my mitzvah for you, that you have ahavah (agape, love) one for the other, as I have ahavah (agape, love) for you.
In the Tanakh, Malachi is the 12th book of the minor prophets of the Nevi'im (Prophets, 19 total, 4 "former", 3 "major" and 12 "minor"). A 400 year span during which time the "minor prophets" constantly sought to call Israel and Judah back to Adonai before the judgement would take place, great revelations given to visionaries of God.
In the B'rit Chadashah (New Testament), John is the 4th of the 5 Gospels the Besorat HaGe'ulah (Good news of redemption).