Who’s my neighbor?

Thanks to Vision Church and the good souls


I’ve a neighbor in my building that I never mention but should. After Alison passed away, my neighbor came to see me. She said that her church, Vision Church, wanted to help in some way.

Me: I’m not gonna lie, I could use the help. But I’ve lost my faith in God. In everything, really. It seems dishonest for me to take money from people that believe when I don’t myself.
Her: (waving her hand)That doesn’t matter to us. We want to help, in some way.

Told her that I could really use some nannies. So for the past year, they’ve been covering most-to-all of his childcare. And some of her friends also help me with childcare on nights I’m able to go to my fencing class. One of the women from the mommy’s group also happens to go to the same church.

It’s pretty amazing, really.

I’d been meaning to write this post to publicly thank them – and her – for some time now but I’ve avoided it because of all my anger.

My friend who also lost his family said that you never get over the anger. He’s right. For every iota of sadness that exists, there’s a commensurate amount of rage.

Even writing this, I feel such a rage that I cannot adequately express.

Yet the kindness of these people – predominantly strangers – buoys me as much as my anger drags me down.

In any case, quite some time after we talked, I pulled up the website to Vision Church and was pleasantly surprised that their tagline was, Who’s your neighbor?

That comes from Luke 10:25–29, the Good Samaritan parable. You probably know it. Or think you do:

A guy’s robbed and beaten up and three people saw him but only the last one helped him. The third one happened to be a Samaritan. And he, out of the three, help the man.

“Be a good Samaritan/Be a good person,” is what most people think the moral of the story is.

But that’s not quite the point of the story.

See, the first two fellas were Jewish – the very first was a rabbi, the second, a Jewish nobleman. The third was the eponymous Samaritan – in other words, the third was not Jewish. Put another way, the third was not of the robbed man’s people whereas the first two were.

In fact, the Samaritans were adversaries of the Jews. Some might even say enemies. And yet this man still helped.

The real point of the story is: Help people, even if they’re not of your tribe. Even if they’re against everything you believe in. Even if they’re your adversary.

If you read this blog, I talk about tribes and family a lot.

These people from Vision Church knew I was not of their tribe and still wanted to help me and family. They still do. It’s humbling.

My rage is something I don’t think’ll ever go away. Don’t think it’s meant to.

I contact the Devil more frequently than I’ve ever done in the past because God – if he exists – and I are, at the very least, indifferent to each other.

At worst, we’re adversarial.

Yet, my anger is only ever tempered by my gratitude for people like those of this church and the kind of people that go to it. Those that say one thing and follow that same thing.

They are the good souls and I’m forever grateful for the good souls.

Her: There’re no strings attached. We just want to help.
Me: (nodding) Then, thank you.

Speaking of good souls, Alison’s friends are doing a walk to remember her on her birthday this Saturday, May 12th.

I wanted you to know this because I wanted you to know that there are all these people that loved her so much that they would travel somewhere and do this for her.

As for me, I can’t go because … I can’t go.

I’ll be in the Bronx somewhere drinking and trying to forget what day it is. I try to forget a lotta things.

Location: in my hellish week
Mood: angry
Music: we never mention real horror
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2 Replies to “Who’s my neighbor?”

  1. Sounds like God send you angels. Im so happy to hear you have help right next door. What a find in this NYC!!! Where everyone is too busy busy.
    Where in the Bronx do you plan to be? I was raised and live in the Bronx.

    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Sckim! I think it’s less God and more that there are just a lot of decent people here near me, like you.

      I’m not sure; I was invited to a thingy but I’m not sure I’m going to be good company that day. But maybe that’s why I should go?

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