HELLO MI neighbour! As we sat together two days ago, Janet said, "I want to celebrate our unique spirit of neighbourliness!" (Neighbourliness is a disposition to be friendly and helpful to others).
While passing by a neighbour's residence recently, she felt compelled to congratulate the owner on the delightful garden of flowers outside his gate. She noted that it was very neighbourly of him to have set up such a beauty spot not only for himself, but for the benefit of passers-by. Let's celebrate indeed!
Okay - so then, are all those neighbours who expend time and energy on beautifying their surroundings actually performing acts of neighbourliness? They are putting a smile on the faces of passers-by! And don't we all need to smile a little more in these tough times? It's healthy.
As we continued with our neighbourly conversation, Janet told me of another act of neighbourliness over the weekend which took the cake. It began with a depressed gentleman who decided to end his life by jumping from a high wall in a public display in the vicinity of the National Bakery, Half-Way Tree Road.
The neighbourly crowd which had gathered to dissuade him from such an act couldn't get him to budge. The police and the fire brigade who were also on hand, pleaded with him to allow them to assist him, but he wouldn't cooperate.
As what could have been the fatal moment got closer, he started praying "Lord, forgive me for what I am about to do…" he then paused and asked for a pastor. A kind neighbour went in search of one. On arrival at the Webster Memorial United Church nearby, the searcher met upon a praise team which was in rehearsal.
On hearing of the gentleman's plight, the team quickly packed up the rehearsal and rushed to the scene to see what difference they could have made. "Seeing the state of the distressed neighbour, they started praying in their hearts for a practical solution. As they prayed, they were "prompted by the Holy Spirit" to start singing the following song:
I speak life, you're gonna live oh my brother…
I speak life, you are the head and not the tail you will prevail;
I speak life, don't give up the fight for your life, you shall live and not die
Let's not lose another person to a senseless death: substance abuse, gang violence, suicide - because of low self-esteem. The power of life and death is in the tongue. Speak life over yourself.
Life to your spirit
Don't be discouraged…
You shall live and not die…
By the end of the song, the gentleman's heart melted, and he surrendered himself to be rescued from suicide.
Thanks for helping:
1. Mr Harley, for offering a freezer to Keisha, Trelawny.
2. Debora, Connecticut, USA for offering assistance with back to school.
3. Cecile, for offering a single bed to a needy neighbour.
4. Mr Hamilton, St Andrew, for donating mattress.
5. Mrs Edwards, St Andrew, for offering a kingsize mattress.
Opportunity to help:
Neighbour, St Elizabeth, unable to walk or work. Has three boys attending to school. Needs books and bags for them.
Shela, St Thomas, lost everything to fire. Needs a bed, refrigerator, bed linen etc.
Elaine, single mother. Asking neighbours for sizes two and 12 khaki and size seven brown shoes for school.
Shanieka, asking neighbours for a twin stroller and a play pen.
Mrs Clarke, St Elizabeth, asking neighbours for a sewing machine and reading books for nine-year-old boy.
Carol, St Catherine, asking neighbours for assistance to buy eye drops she cannot afford.
Ms Simms, St Catherine, unemployed - asking neighbours for size khaki and size six shoes for back to school…hard cover exercise books.
Neighbour, mother of seven needs a bed and a stove…no help from fathers.
To help, please call Silton Townsend at 334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412, deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour c/o 53 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10 E-mail email@example.com.