Letters to the Editor

Blessed is my neighbour in this time of social distancing

To the Editor:

Time of crisis is time of reflection. We reflect on an endless list of things. So today I had this wake-up call of “my neighbour”. Every religion, faith, culture and race have a concept of neighbour. In every community and existence of human beings the neighbour principles are unavoidable.
Whatever way you define the concept or word “neighbour” that is what I am talking about.

Who is my neighbour? – You are the Neighbour!

In Christian religion and faith, Jesus was confronted with this question: – Luke 10:25-37. His answer was a long one – a parable of a Good Samaritan. The answer directed at compassion, sacrifice, self giving, love and being human. It directed at someone near, far and uniquely different from you but uniquely available for you in time of crisis. That is your neighbour!

In your religion or family there is a story of neighbours and the emphasis (is on) principles of existing as good neighbours.

My African upbringing and culture define neighbour in the word “Ubuntu”- “I am because you are, and you are because I am” or “A person is a person through other persons”. In Ubuntu; caring for each other’s well-being and completeness is emphasised. Everyone’s humanity is ideally expressed through relationship with others and recognition of every individual’s worth.

The pandemic of Covid-19 is a wake-up call to the reality of “my neighbours”. We don’t choose who should be our neighbour in time of a crisis. We can fight this Covid-19 as we stay within our homes and socially-distancing for the sake everyone else= Neighbour! In this time, we have had to constantly message each other, call each other, technologically send out videos, worthy jokes and information to help keep the spirit alive. We are neighbours.

Essential service providers are our neighbours, our information providers are our neighbours, and our nurses and doctors are our neighbours. Above all, the walls we are spending time within, are our neighbors.

This is a call to bless your neighbour. Join me in shouting out to you my neighbour. Blessed is my neighbour in this time of physical social distancing. Blessed is my neighbour as we are staying away to stop the spread of Covid-19. Blessed is my neighbour who is praying for me.

Pause and think of the physically, emotionally or psychologically located neighbours. They are all neighbours every step of the way. They are the first respondents in times of crisis. The proximity of existence is a blessing in many ways. We might be different, like different things, and stand for different ideologies, but we are neighbors.

We can worship together because we are neighbours. We can pray together because we are neighbours. Consider joining the ongoing prayers for healing # Online services.

If you pray to “your”/ “our” God. God will heal your/our neighbour. God will give peace to our/your neighbour.

This weekend be a neighbour to someone. God save my neighbour. God heal my neighbour. God protect my neighbour. God bless my neighbour. #Youaremyneighbour.

If you are in Slave Lake help me to shout out to Tyler Warman our Mayor and the team that works with him in keeping us updated, all the health personnel, and all the children in our homes. We are neighbours!

Reverend Blessing Shambare
Servant and Pastor
St Peter’s Ecumenical Church.

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