The MASTER'S VOICE

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I meant To Lord

Robbie L. Rogers

 

We don't do what we ought to.  How often has the Confession of Sin Prayer rung hallow in your ears, especially the part  "...by what we have done, and what we have left undone."?


    Every time I say, "Thus sayeth the Lord", do a teaching, or write a piece, it happens... it folds back on me, marking me as the one who needed it the most.  Yet, though I am guilty, He forgives and I go on, hopefully a changed man.  Not long ago we participated in the Lighthouse project.  Part of it was to pray for your neighbors.  That is easy I thought, I have been doing that all along for 27 years; but, there was more to it than that.  I did those things for a while, even praying for them more than I used to; but, then as time went by other things slowly erased them from the "doing" part of my mind.


    My prayers for my neighbors now consisted of praying for them as I mowed the yard, and sometimes, I must confess, not at all, I am often consumed with myself, my family, and the state of the world in general, my neighbors have always taken their place somewhere on the bottom of any list I seemed to posses. 


    Yesterday, I was stunned to my boots.  My best neighbor, of whom we have an occasional conversation while standing in the yard, both sweating from yard work, walked over to speak to me.  This was unusual, it is always the other way around.  I turned off my noisy weed eater to hear what he was saying.  There was the short perfunctory statements that men always say.  "How ya doin'?"  "Can't complain."


    Then he said, "I cut off three of my fingers last week."  He held up his hand as he choked back some emotions.  My eyes were probably as big as saucers.  We talked about the terrible thing that happened and how life goes on. I must confess I was in a low grade shock.  None of my "normal" Christian attitudes were working like they should have been.  I didn't ask if I could pray for him right then, that his hand would continue to heal, it looked astounding well all-things-considered, and I know they are Christian.  He went on to say that since he was having work done on his hand he also scheduled some prostrate surgery.  At the same time of the surgery, they discovered cancer and removed it. 


    If you are keeping score, last week my best neighbor, the one I am the most friendly with, lost three fingers, had surgery, and had cancer removed all without me, the Lighthouse" Christian, knowing about it.  But he was fine... what he was really worried about was his daughter, we have known her casually also.  Because of the jolt that His problems caused her, she went to have a check up, ending up having immediate surgery.  She has Cancer with only a 50-50 chance of survival.  She is 36 with a husband and two children.  All this happened to my best neighbor last week... and we didn't even know about it. 


    "...by what we have done, and what we have left undone."  It keeps ringing in my ear.  After 27 years in the same neighborhood, I only know my neighbors well enough to speak over the fence.  Is that what is meant by, "Love thy neighbors as thyself"?   I don't think so.  So what am I going to do about it? 


    It seems we have time to minister to the rest of the community and to the world, even traveling sometimes to the far corners to do so, yet we are blind to the needs of those next door.  Holy Spirit has done His part, I am convicted... and I find myself wanting.   How about you?!