Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write an account of this victory, so that it will be remembered. Tell Joshua that I will completely destroy the Amalekites.” Moses built an altar and named it, “ The Lord Is my Banner.” (Exodus 17:14-15 GNT)
Jehovah-Nissi ~ The Lord is My Banner
I never wanted to remember. I worked incredibly hard to forget, to pretend it was not real. But, it was real and I did remember and one day I finally said it. Out Loud.
Seconds were clicking loud in the clock of my brain as the alarms went off that classified information had been spilled. Sirens were anticipated. Instead, I hear soft sentences …. I missed many of the words, and could not in that moment even understand much of what was being said, but I did hear this in slow motion as her lips formed each word like art, “you are not alone.”
I remember those four words changing everything for me, because all I could ever remember is being alone. Being different. Being afraid.
You are not alone.
I remember thinking that meant others are like me. I thought maybe I would find a group of people who would share the same story, the same fears, and maybe they would understand me.
You are not alone.
I remember realizing I was never alone. He was with me then, even then.
I am not alone.
On Tuesday, I read this passage: (click on link below to see the full text)
29 Looking for a loophole, he asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?”
30-32 Jesus answered by telling a story. “There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.
33-35 “A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’ 36 “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”
37 “The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded. Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”
When I read that story this week, what struck me is the example Jesus gave to help define “neighbor”. The story was about a man being attacked, violated, robbed and left naked and bruised. The Priest avoided. The other religious man avoided. But not the Samaritan. The despised and rejected Samaritan saw this man hurting and “his heart went out to him” because he understood. He didn’t go to the wounded, naked man and say, “I’m going to pray for you” or “here is some money – I hope it will help”. He did even more.
He showed Mercy.
He went straight to the wounds. He helped with the cleansing of those wounds and he helped to bandage those wounds. He lifted him when he was too weak and helped to carry him, and helped him to be comfortable. He let him know He was not alone. He made him feel safe.
It was not free and it was not easy. The thought of cleaning out wounds and letting infection ooze out is not for the weak, but when you are wounded first aid is critical. He used his time, his energy, his resources, and his money to help this wounded man.
He was a neighbor.
I remember those who have been neighbors to me. I remember the way Jesus equipped them to meet me along the road just when I needed another stitch or more gauze. When the blood was seeping through and the stench was overbearing, they sat and listened. They showed me mercy, and they made me feel safe. I remember God using them to confirm everything he was pressing on my heart. I remember thanking God that I am not alone…I have neighbors.
They are my neighbors.
Journey Pink is my written account of this victory. It’s my altar in time to remember this journey (of a Princess In Need of a King). It’s my own banner that says “I need you Jesus – You are my banner!”. You are my refuge.
I want to remember, because when there are aches, soreness, and tears from the wounds I will know… that I know… that I know that I am LOVED. I am not alone. He is with me and he cares for me. I remember the songs, the verses, the neighbors, and all of the many ways God has shown me His mercy, love, grace and tenderness. I remember him giving me the strong desire to be a neighbor, to say to someone else, “You are not alone.”
I remember the first time I said those four words: You are not alone.
Neighbors helping neighbors… mercy finding mercy.
Remembering always, we are not alone.
You are not alone.