The First Thought Is God’s

Sheila A.

I recently read a newspaper account of a pastor in Cleveland. His neighborhood and congregation have been deeply affected by the pandemic and economic fallout. He recounted how a family came to ask if he had any blankets: They’d been sleeping in their car since being evicted.

“They didn’t ask for money”, he said.  “Just a blanket to keep warm”.

I was sad, angry, humbled, convicted — all at the same time.

My first thought:  “I have some extra new blankets – I’ll send them to Cleveland!”

My second thoughts: (as Pastor Jeff says):

– My blankets aren’t warm enough. And there’s only three of them.

– The pastor and family will think it’s weird to get three blankets from Wisconsin.

-The blankets might be stolen sitting on the church doorstep. Is their church even open?

-They’ll be offended.

-Shouldn’t I give them to someone closer to home? I’m supposed to be a neighborhood well, after all.

-Who is my neighbor anyway?

Fortunately, that last question has been answered for me (Luke 10: 36-38)

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

I sent the blankets yesterday.