If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like artists, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces. Here it is love that is the frame we see them in.

Frederick Buechner in Whistling in the Dark (1988)

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Make your ways known to me, Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth— teach it to me— because you are the God who saves me. I put my hope in you all day long. Lord, remember your compassion and faithful love— they are forever! But don’t remember the sins of my youth or my wrongdoing. Remember me only according to your faithful love for the sake of your goodness, Lord.

Psalm 25:4-7

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Have you ever gone bowling and used the bumpers on the sides? They’re designed to help you keep the ball from going in the gutter. The Psalmist is responding to God for something like this. God provides us instruction in the way to love our neighbors. God guides us in the way that will be best.

God wants us to stay on track but does understand when we don’t get it right. God, with unending love for God’s creation, forgives our sins and helps us to get back on track. How can you be a bumper? You can be a gentle reminder of the path of God.

I’m not saying that it’s our job to call out every little thing that might cause someone to stray from God. It’s our job as a good neighbor to show kindness and patience as God does. God provides direction. We walk the path with others.

Stephanie Vance

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God of Endless Love, guide me on your path. Help me to be supportive and kind to fellow wanderers on life’s journey. Help me to know your love. Amen.

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God loves us. Not because of or in spite of anything. There is no qualifier to God’s love.

God asks us to love the same way.

Go and love today and always!

Stephanie Vance

Stephanie Vance is commissioned field personnel with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and is currently serving as the National Manager for Together for Hope, CBF’s rural development coalition. She also serves as the Area Coordinator for the Rural Americas Team of field personnel. She lives in Athens, AL.

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

Jon Chacko

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