The past month seems to have been especially bad for high winds.
In the past few weeks, we have lost power a number of times due to downed trees over power lines. At first, events like this can be kind of exciting. We pull out the flashlights, sleeping bags and have a family camp-out in the living room. However, this game gets old fast, when everything you own seems to be run on electricity!
For some, loosing power can become a time of retreat. For example, after the power went out yesterday, a friend of ours posted this comment on Facebook: “Am very thankful this morning for a gas wood stove, gas range, French press coffee pot, bottled water, smart phone and REI candle lantern…life is good ” As I looked at this list of goodies, I realized that I had a smart phone (obviously) and a few bottles of water. My second thought after reading her post was that (in jealousy) I secretly wished that I was her at that moment. Then yes, my secret wish soon became the next comment on her post.
However, right before I posted my comment, something amazing happened! There was a knock at our door, which was strange that early the morning. Low and behold, one of our neighbors (1/4 mile away), was on our door step with a fresh pot of French Press coffee! All of a sudden, I had one more item on our friend’s little list of power outage serenity! This was a huge blessing, because my wife and I were so hard up for coffee, that we had already pulled the camp stove onto the kitchen counter and we’re in the process of boiling some water for instant. Forget the instant when you have French Press!
After having my first sip of this amazing brew, I realized that this one-act displayed a key concept that Christ wants us all to embrace. In the Gospel of Mark, there’s an account of Jesus being questioned by a bunch of religious teachers. They tried to trip Jesus up by asking him which of the laws is the most important. Jesus responds by saying: “30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.“
Our neighbor had a gas range, a kettle, ground coffee and most importantly, a French Press. My wife and I had an electric stove, an electric kettle, coffee beans and an electric grinder. It may have been a small task for our neighbor, but to walk the 1/4 mile to our house on a dark, cold, windy morning, just to give us his French Press full of fresh brew; was clearly a perfect example of Mark 12:31. If you’re reading this, thank you my friend!
Needless to say, I got on Facebook, commenting and posting accordingly. Soon enough, the power came back on and we continued with our day as usual. But, let this post serve as two pieces of advise: First, when you go to look for a home in Alaska, avoid electric appliances. And second, never underestimate the incredible power in pausing and thinking of “your neighbor as yourself“.
When was the last time someone brought you a proverbial French Press?
Here’s a “What’s Real” short put together by RealFusion.com about loving your neighbor by handing out donuts to busy Los Angeles commuters.