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ONGOING TENSIONS between neighboring countries, such as Pakistan and India, or Israel and Syria, or between neighbors within the same country, such as Sudan and Darfur, highlight a need to continually and prayerfully understand what it means to be a neighbor. It's heartening to see, for example, how African leaders are starting to show more leadership to solve problems between neighbors in Sudan (see http://www.csmonitor.com/ Commentary/Opinion/2010/0126/African-leaders-are-finally-solving-African-problems).
From a spiritual perspective, it's clear that prayer can surely ease these conflicts and raise the level of trust on both sides, at the same time revealing that we are all worldwide neighbors. A story from the Bible is instructive. Jesus' response to the lawyer who asked, "Who is my neighbor?" evoked what has since been called the parable of the good Samaritan, found in the book of Luke (see 10:30—37). This tale of a foreigner aiding the victim of a mugging, when neither the wounded man's own people nor the followers of his religion would do so, pointed Jesus' listeners to a new paradigm of neighborliness. They recognized in the age-old commandment to love your neighbor as yourself the edict to see beyond the confines of affiliation and proximity to the larger view of spiritual community.
Although the lawyer's original intent may have been to trick Jesus with his question, he understood fully the far-reaching impact of Jesus' parable. When Jesus asked the lawyer which of the story's three passersby was most neighborly to the injured man, he answered, "He that shewed mercy on him." Jesus' profound reply to him was to go and do the same.
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About the author
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner from Salem, Oregon.
with contributions from POONAM LIKHI, BEVERLY LYLE, ELIZABETH RODIG, ANITA MURPHY, RITA UNDERHILL
GOD'S LOVING SUPPORT
JEFF WARD-BAILEY, STAFF EDITOR
ITEMS OF INTEREST
with contributions from Philip Jenkins, Sean Maher
THE TLC THAT NEVER FAILS
BY JANET CLEMENTS
LET GOD LEAD YOU AND LOVE YOU
Sentinel Radio's RITA POLATIN talks with BETTY NELLES and Betty's daughters, CATHY EDGE.
JUST LISTEN AND LOVE
AT HOME WITH MUM
BY JANE MIRIANKI
Defending girls' education in Afghanistan
BY ELISE MOORE
BY DUNCAN WILDER
OVERCOMING DEPRESSION: LET CHRIST SET YOU FREE
STILL AMAZED AFTER 30 YEARS
KIM SHIPPEY, SENIOR WRITER
GO UP HIGHER
LOST HEARING RESTORED
SEVERE RASH HEALED
HEALING IN THE JUNGLE