The simple side of loving your neighbor

You may have heard the story. There is an elderly woman in Memphis who every day called Domino’s and ordered a pepperoni pizza. Every day she did this for three years straight! Then one day the pizza shop got no call. The next day, same thing. The day after that, same thing again. Finally, one of the delivery ladies took action and went to the house. She knocked and knocked at the door—no response. Chatted with some neighbors—no sightings. Pounded on some windows—not a peep. So, she called 911. They found the elderly woman on the floor, unable to reach her phone after she’d fallen. They kept her overnight for observation at the hospital, but she wasn’t in critical condition. Everyone is saying her daily pizza saved her life.

It’s hard to hear a good-news story like that without immediately thinking of what can also be viewed as a kind of “life-saver”: Christ Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (see Matt. 22:38, 39). This was so important to the Master he made it second only to his command to love God. And yet, one of the lovely things about the story is that, all of the delivery lady’s endeavors were totally ordinary. Nothing she did was even remotely supernatural or extraordinary. Maybe that should be one of the take-away messages from this little episode. Loving your neighbor may be a lot simpler a lot of the time than it’s made out to be. 

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April 18, 2011

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