December 12: Am I My brother’s Keeper?

Of the six billion people in the world, how many have we met yet? How many have we met that have touched our lives? How many have we met that we bothered to care? Or how many did we let go? How many did we take for granted? I don’t know.  I grew up in a land where there are many people begging for alms around.  I felt pity for them and I still do until now.  In progressive countries I’ve been to, I barely saw them.  However, in third world countries they’re prevalent.  How many of us stopped and gave them a portion of what we have? How many of us turned a blind eye against them?  How is it is for us to argue, “Oh, c’mon, you know you can work.  Why beg for alms?” I don’t think it’s the argument here now.  Yes, I can go on and on describing the kinds of people who are out in the cold, out in the streets, under bridges, or abandoned lots.  But I don’t want to do that.  However, I’d like to delve into Cain’s query to God (when he was asked about Abel)? “Am I brother’s keeper?” Are we our brother’s keeper? In occasions where our assistance are sought, are we ready to respond positively? How many of us are willing to leave in the middle of a movie just to help a sibling with his or her homework? How many of us are willing to leave the LIVE telecast of our favorite teams to lend a hand to our spouse? How many are willing to leave that “momentum” to work or finish a project  just so we can receive a call from an ailing friend?

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When I was younger, I’d prefer work over friends.  Sometimes, I’d even prefer to watch movies/TV series alone over hanging out with friends.  Of course, if it’s going out or traveling I am in.  But, if it’s all about talking our lives, I was so ready with, “Can I take a raincheck?” However, now that I am older, I realized that life after all is about relationships.  Indeed, we are created as social beings.  We do not survive on our own. We always need other people around us. That’s why God gave us families and friends.  It’s truly a blessing coming here to Thailand where most of my friends from college and high school are here.  Yes, we may be living our own lives but the fact that I see them at work or at church is already enough for me to know that I can always have people to run to for help or to help.:-) I like to volunteer to babysit or help others with work–just basically anything that I can do.  Whenever I feel so alone, I’d just ask a friend if I could visit her and her family and the response is always a resounding, “YES!” I enjoy being with them. It’s great fun to be able to play and laugh with her children.  It so feels like home whenever I’m with them.

Since we all know that we are our brother’s keeper, what do you think can we do to enhance our relationships? Let me see if I can come up with a few tips:

1. PRAY FOR THEM.  Yes, it is very important to pray for other people.  It’s always nice to know that people remember us even in their prayers.  I got a pretty long list and I am happy that I get to pray for them.

2. OFFER TO HELP.  No, it’s not being nosy with other people’s business or anything.  If we someone busy with something, a friend, a family member, or a colleague, offer a helping hand.  We all need a hand once in a while.

3. BE ENCOURAGING.  Sometimes, all we need is a tap on the shoulder or a word of encouragement.  No, sometimes, it’s just a simple, “How are you?” to know that someone cares.  So, be generous with your smile and “Hi, hello, how are you?”

4. MAKE TIME FOR PEOPLE. Time is a very essential factor in relationships.  Parents need to find time to spend time with their children.  Kids nowadays grow really fast. I can’t believe how a baby after a year can already walk! Wow! Likewise, children should find time to spend with their parents.  We get too occupied with studies/work, love life, shopping, hobbies, etc. that we forget that our parents grow old too, you know.  Spend time with them as long you can.  Make time for other people around you.  Go and eat out with them.  Play with them.  Watch movies with them.  I don’t know.  Do something fun and creative.  Or sometimes, just be there for them.  I still cannot forget the time when someone asked if he could come over to my place after work.  Again, I was too naive with relationships back then.  I still am now but I am learning.:-) I wondered why he wanted to come over.  So, I inquired, “Why?” (I was not in the mood for company.) He simply replied, “Nothing. We don’t have to do anything.  We can just sit and not talk.” That struck me! Until now, it’s still my most favorite line.  I couldn’t honestly believe that someone like him would be so willing to just sit with me and make me feel loved and cared for.  Would you like to know the end of the story? He came up and we just sat there quietly.  It’s still one of the best moments of my life.  

5. BE A GOOD SAMARITAN.  This relates to tip #2 but this is specifically for strangers, people we don’t know.  Most of the time we are only altruistic to people in our dining table.  But what about those who don’t have friends? What about those people under/in the bridges or along the sidewalks? What about those who are a bit short to reach an item in the grocery store? How about those who are carrying something so heavy? Or maybe the elderly or pregnant women in the bus? Or those who are scared to cross the pedestrian lanes? I remember what my mom told me about God disguising as this and that.  What if one those needy ones were God and we didn’t help? Oh-oh. 😦 Remember the Christmas story about a rich woman who was informed that prominent people were going to visit her place on Christmas? Instead of getting those affluent people, she got poor, needy, dirty people.  Little did she know that God already appeared to her in those forms.  What was that Bible text that talked about the golden rule? Yes, 

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 followed by

 

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40

 

See? Need I say more? 😀

Well, this is all for now.  This aspiring writer is so sleepy already–been sleepy actually.  Anyway, let us all love one another (John 13:34, 1 John 4:7, Romans 13:8) because after all, we are our brother’s keeper (Genesis 4:9).

 

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