Saturday. Today was a comfortable day on the 19th floor. Yes, we live on the 19th floor of our building. When we lived in Shanghai, we lived on the 8th floor. Sort of. The elevator did not have a 4, or 14, or 24, for that matter. The number 4 is bad luck in China. Sometimes there are no 13th floors in our buildings here in the US. Does that happen anymore? I remember that being the case when I was growing up, but I’ve quit noticing. Okay, so in Shanghai, we lived on the 8th (?) floor. In Tokyo our apartment was on the 30th floor. So, here we are again, living in a high-rise apartment scenario.
We haven’t yet met our neighbors. That seems to go along with this type of living. Maybe it’s the close proximity that causes folks to keep their distance. However, I do like to know my neighbors. Maybe it’s the Southern-ness in me. Neighbors add a wonderful dimension to your life. We’ve had some wonderful ones through the years. Sometimes they are just next door or behind or in front of your house. Sometimes they are down the street. Sometimes they are in your building. But, I suppose they can also be people whom you know or run into on a regular basis.
The term neighbor is defined in Luke, chapter 10, in the story of the Good Samaritan. When Jesus asks (v. 36-37) “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “God and do likewise.” This obviously gives a much broader meaning to the familiar term. Our neighbors are truly our fellow men. That said, and in taking Jesus’ words to heart, we must show care and kindness to whomever we meet, not just those with whom we think we have something in common.