A Beautiful Mutuality

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The movie The Book of Eli is a graphic and plausible representation of a post-apocalyptic world in which earth’s survivors are desperate for the absolute necessities that make life possible. The story unapologetically brings awareness to American abundance and challenges the tendency to over-indulge or take excess for granted. Its characters do not have the choice to hoard, but must depend on one another’s resources for the privilege to survive and rebuild society.

The gas shortage in Texas forced my family and I to depend on our neighbors this week for what has become a necessity of our society: gasoline. I was on my way home from the high school one afternoon last week when I concurrently realized the gas light was on in my 2010, baby blue, Hyundai Accent, and that the gas stations in the area were out of gas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Admittedly, this is a minor inconvenience compared to the devastation many are experiencing on the Texas coastline, yet, it taught me something about my efforts to be a good neighbor.

I pulled up to the house that afternoon and just sat in the car a few minutes, thinking, and realizing that I had no immediate way to solve this problem on my own. So, I texted Tanya and John. I have had the privilege of offering free math tutoring to their 12 year-old daughter Sadie for the past year as a way of following Jesus’ teaching to love my neighbors. Now, I was reaching out to Tanya and John to meet a need in my life, namely, a couple of gallons of gas to last for a few days. (For whatever the Accent lacks in masculinity, it makes up for in fuel efficiency.) They gladly shared what they had available to them and I was blessed.

A valuable part of being a good neighbor is inviting and allowing my neighbors to be blessing in my own life. This process is helping to transform the people around me from targets of mission, beneficiaries of my charity, or anonymous neighbors, to real friends.     

Kevin Davis, Director of Missionary Residency Program - FORGE DALLAS