I MARRIED MY NEIGHBOR

“So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise” (Lk 10:36, 37)

Today is the 14th day since I fell and broke my leg. Apart from the initial pain and the difficulty of learning to walk with crutches, I can say that this is one of the best periods of my life. God has touched not only my husband and I separately but our marriage. It looks very much like what people call ‘honey moon’. What is the honey in it? It is this unity of the Spirit in the bond of supernatural peace! This cannot be bought with money and no Bible School can teach it. It is the gift of the Father! Glory to God!!!

Let me explain… Not long ago a friend’s daughter had a car accident. She entered the junction on ‘yellow’ and another car collided with hers. Both drivers were unhurt, thank God. But my friend’s daughter’s car was quite damaged. They needed to spend money to fix it. The girl’s father was happy that she was not hurt but very angry that she was ‘too careless’. This anger lasted for a long time and it affected their relationship.

In my case, I too was ‘careless’ for I should have looked better when I stepped down on the stairs. My fall was my fault, you can say. Except for the devil, I am the only one to be blamed. My husband’s natural reaction could have been like that girl’s father. But to my greatest surprise he was not angry at all. From the moment I fell he picked me up, tied my broken leg, prayed for me and encouraged me. He had been an ‘angel’ in the house. He brings my food from the kitchen and cleans our room daily. He does it with a smile on his face humming worship songs. After he does all the chores (faster than I use to do them… I am almost getting jealous…) he goes to his office and studies the Bible. He comes from time to time to ask if I have any need. If he drives out he phones to say he is coming back soon…How can you explain this love after more than 42 years of marriage? This has to be God so that our testimony will be greater than initially imagined.

Interestingly, this week, at the mid week service, he preached a message called ‘who is my neighbor?’ I could not attend the service but I read the notes from the sermon on Facebook. It was from the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. A Jewish man fell at the hands of robbers. They wounded him badly and left him on the side of the road. Two religious men cam by, saw him, but chose to ignore him. When a Samaritan man came he had pity on the wounded man and helped him at the hour of his need. Samaritans are historical enemies of the Jews so he had enough excuses to ignore the victim. But he showed supernatural compassion and helped the wounded man. Jesus said that whosever showed this Holy Ghost mercy to a man in need, that man is the true neighbor. It is this generous free supernatural love revealed to one in need that makes men neighbors and friends forever. That bond of peace can never be broken.

This is our testimony: My husband proved to me in the our of my need that he is my true pastor, my compassionate neighbor and my friend forever! My husband revealed the heart of Jesus to me, especially now! He really practices what he preaches! 43years ago, when I told my parents that I want to marry my class mate Richmond Leigh, they were afraid. They saw him as a black man from another continent. They said ‘why do you want to marry a man who lives so far away? Why can’t you marry one of our neighbors?’ I could not answer their question. I just said that I love him. Many years have passed… We came to Nigeria in 1980. We had three children. We became born again. We have been living happily since then. But God keeps the best for the last…This is a wonderful latest revelation: I have married my neighbor in the Kingdom of God!!! There is no doubt in my mind that our marriage has been ordained and approved by God! I am very sure that in heaven we shall live on the same side of the golden highway! What a privilege! What a blessing!

The pain has gone. Soon, the cast will be removed and I shall walk (and dance) again! But the lessons and the bonding of agape love manifested during this trying time will endure forever! God bless my neighbor! Like we say in Nigeria… Anywhere you see him, please greet him for me! To God be all the glory!

(My husband and I on a camel in Israel in 2013)

Tali 6

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