The past month seems to have been especially bad for high winds.
In the past few weeks, we have lost power a number of times due to downed trees over power lines. At first, events like this can be kind of exciting. We pull out the flashlights, sleeping bags and have a family camp-out in the living room. However, this game gets old fast, when everything you own seems to be run on electricity!
For some, loosing power can become a time of retreat. For example, after the power went out yesterday, a friend of ours posted this comment on Facebook: “Am very thankful this morning for a gas wood stove, gas range, French press coffee pot, bottled water, smart phone and REI candle lantern…life is good.“
As I looked at this list of goodies in reference to our goods, I realized that we only had a smart phone and bottled water. I suddenly felt a wave of jealousy and secretly wished that we were them at that moment. Alas, we would have to sit in the cold, without their comforts and saddest of all, without coffee.
Just before I posted a snarky comment about how lucky they were, something amazing happened.
There was a knock at our door, which was strange that early the morning. Low and behold, one of our neighbors (1/4 mile away), was on our door step with a fresh pot of French Press coffee!
All of a sudden, I had one more item on our friend’s little list of power outage serenity. This was a huge blessing, because my wife and I were really missing our morning coffee. We had actually already pulled the camp stove onto the kitchen counter and we’re in the process of boiling some water for instant.
Forget the instant; we now had some steaming French Press!
After having my first sip of this amazing brew, I realized that this one-act displayed a key concept that Christ wants us all to embrace. In the Gospel of Mark, there’s an account of Jesus being questioned by a bunch of religious teachers. They tried to trip Jesus up by asking him which of the laws is the most important. Jesus responds with the following.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mk. 12:30-31)
Our neighbor had a gas range, a kettle, ground coffee and most importantly, a French Press. My wife and I had an electric stove, an electric kettle, coffee beans and an electric grinder and coffee maker.
It may have been a small task for our neighbor, but to walk the 1/4 mile to our house on a dark, cold, windy morning, just to give us his French Press full of fresh brew; was clearly a perfect example of Mark 12:31. If you’re reading this, thank you my friend.
Needless to say, I got on Facebook, commenting and posting accordingly. Soon enough, the power came back on and we continued with our day as usual. However, let this post serve as two pieces of advise.
- When you go to look for a home in Alaska, avoid electric appliances.
- Never underestimate the incredible power in pausing and thinking of “your neighbour as yourself“.
When was the last time someone thought of you higher than themselves?