“Those People”

March 12, 2024

*This devotional comes from my son Rev. Ryne Mimbs.

“THOSE PEOPLE”

The other day I heard an all too rare knock on my front door. On my porch was a lady passing out flyers for her preferred candidate in the upcoming elections. After I kindly rebuffed her that I really didn’t care for politics, she noted the Christian symbols on our porch and asked if I considered myself a believer. When I replied of course we are believers, she motioned down the street to some of my neighbors’ houses and said quite angrily, “Then how can you stand by and let those people destroy this country?”

So I shut the door in her face. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had told her about “those people.” Like the lady across the street who was entering hospice care at a young age because the cancer was too far gone. Or the pastor’s family on the other side who feed our pets when we travel. Or the man who walks his dog every day but doesn’t say much since his wife passed.

I wish I’d told her about sharing a lawnmower with my neighbor who moved from Oregon. Or laughing at kids playing in the street or the one family who decorates their yard for every holiday or helping find each others pets under porches in the middle of the night.

I would tell stories of kindness and laughter and endless toys tossed back over fences. My neighborhood is infinitely diverse and we all have very different lives and beliefs. But they are not “those people” to me. They’re the ones who sit on the porches with us and share food and plants and get invited to church and are prayed over when life gets too hard.

When Christ told the story of the Samaritan and asked “Who was a neighbor to the man,” he purposely used a Samaritan, who would be considered “those people” by the Jews listening to His story. If I could talk to that woman, I would sit with her on the same steps I sit on to talk to my neighbors and ask her about her own neighbors and if they were “those people” to her as well. I would ask her what was more important, their political affiliation or their eternal destination, and which one she should really be going door to door asking people about.

But shutting the door in her face? That wasn’t very neighborly of me and I deeply wish I could apologize. To whoever you are neighbor, next time, I’ll have some lemonade and a comfy porch seat for you with a beautiful view of my neighborhood.

In love with Jesus – Gary Mimbs

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