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It was just a quick call out on Facebook — a question about what stands in the way of you loving your neighbor better — and my friend asks what to do when you don’t speak the same language.

The language barrier question has been rolling around in my head for days now, searching for some ideas of how to help my friend.

And then?

I stumbled upon a beautiful article written by a woman living abroad and later, this Facebook post from Humans of New York. May they both be a blessing…

Click here for the article: http://www.incourage.me/2012/09/partial-solutions.html

Humans of New York

beads from UgandaAll along I’ve planned to pray for our neighbors around the world. Those who are sick and need access to health care. Those who are afraid and fighting for the things I take for granted. It seems overwhelming, so I put it off.

I miss a day of my 31-day series. And then another.

How will I — a woman who hasn’t taken the time to educate herself like she should on human trafficking or the Ebola outbreak– know the right words to say?

Then it hits me, and I begin.

Lord, help me — help all of us — to share our gifts with others. Take our medical skills, our financial resources, our knowledge of crops and irrigation and light us on fire. I believe you’ve put a passion within each of us, and I pray that we would use those talents to show love to your people. I know our gifts may seem insignificant to us when we look at the world’s problems: A tiny blog. A small business. A vision for a crazy invention.

But we serve a big God.

Let us not forget that, Lord.

Amen.

31daysoflovingyourneighbor

Bittle (13) resizeI have a beautiful friend from high school who pours her heart — and her recipes — out on her blog. You’ll see many wonderful articles at Read My Chicken Scratch, but there are two posts that I can’t recommend highly enough.

If you can, make the time to read these today. May they bless you as much as they have blessed (and challenged) me.

The first, Connect The Dots, talks about practical ways to support people when their loved ones are sick.

The second, Introducing: Josie, is the story of how my friend came to pray differently for a cherished daughter.

Josie collage resize

Slipping in here to offer just one simple tip today: AmazonSmile.

If you haven’t heard, Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of most of your purchases to the charity of your choice. (My day job is at a non-profit. We’ve signed up for this program and already are seeing results — just from our supporters buying the things they normally would buy.)

It takes about 60 seconds to sign up and select your charity. Visit this page for details.

Does it get any easier to show love for your neighbors?

31daysoflovingyourneighbor

loving your online neighbor

You don’t have to be a trained researcher to notice the trend and see how comments can turn negative on social media — how they can rip and tear at a person. I know none of us would ever do that, ever forget that there is a person behind the pixels, but are we doing anything to prevent it?

The only way to fight the dark is to bring the light.

Are we doing that for our neighbors?

When we see the story about the car accident and read the disparaging comments do we just continue to scroll through our news feed or do we write a message of hope?

What are we contributing to the conversation?

Earlier this year I instituted a daily quota for myself — five positive interactions on Facebook and five on Twitter. On the days I stick to it, I hit the like button for everything from cute kid pictures to status updates from bestselling authors. I jot notes of sympathy and encouragement. I find posts from bloggers who have exposed bits of their souls, and I share their articles and praise their work.

It’s small, I know. But it is light.

And I have to believe every little bit helps.

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