Love of God and Neighbor

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)

Emma always dreaded the walk down the hallway to her apartment when she was with her children. The toddlers were often loud and she was worried that her neighbor Gladys may feel disturbed by the noise.

Gladys was an older woman who seemed unhappy and often grumpy. Emma had never seen this lady smile. She always looked angry with the world….

As Emma was climbing the stairs with her grocery bags and her toddlers following, one of the packages slipped from her hand. As the contents spilled into the hallway and she was busy trying to gather them, she noticed the door to Gladys apartment open.

As Emma looked up to apologize for the mess she made, she noticed a display in Gladys’ apartment.

It was a memorial to Gladys’ son, a soldier in the military who hadn’t returned from his last mission. “It made me see Gladys in a whole new light,” Emma said to her husband later that evening.

From that day on, Emma made it a habit to reach out to Gladys. She made it a point to stop by just to bring a plate of cookies or to offer to pick up the woman’s groceries. After a while, Emma noticed that Gladys started to warm up to her and even smile a little.

“We’re not besties,” Emma laughs, “But I have a feeling we are on the way to a friendship.”


Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for a new day in my life. when I’m tempted to judge others, please help me to remember they may be dealing with pain and disappointments. Use me as your instrument to bring healing and grace to their heart.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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