Cousin Ed

Be A Family Member By Blood, Marriage or Promotion

Ed was my neighbor next door. Before we recently moved away from Melville, Ed decided to promote himself into becoming our honorary cousin. He claimed he put up with me, far too long, not to claim some payback rewards. He said that if he calls himself our cousin, I will have to treat him as a relative when he arrives for a visit in British Columbia. Before, we drove away from 6th Avenue Ed admitted that I did have one strong point. He claimed I was a good listener. Apparently, good listeners are hard to find, as Ed plans to keep in touch with me by phone and Skype. Ruby keeps in touch with their Edmonton relatives by Skype and Ed is planning to talk to me in BC that way also. I imagine that I will hear from Ed every week, as Ed’s strong point is that he is good at talking at people any way possible.

It will be good to hear from my old neighbor each week. Especially, for the first weeks, while we will be near our daughter in Washington, State. We cannot move into our condo in BC right away. We are facing seven weeks of being gone from our old home until we are in our new one. We will be what the Bible refers to as sojourners. A sojourner means one who stays temporarily for a time in one place. I find that it is an unsettling feeling not to have a permanent home for seven weeks. It requires patience to mark time somewhere as a visitor, stranger, alien, and foreigner. Everyone wants to feel settled at home where they belong. In the Bible, the sojourner, the foreigner, stranger, and the traveler could suffer from abuse and victimization. The hometown folks dismissed sojourners as having no importance.

One could rightly say that sojourners in the Bible were people who belonged to another place. Our friends and loving family members belong to us even if we do not live in the same community, province or country. Today, we can readily keep in contact with others in seconds, no matter, where they live by email or phone. Keeping in touch isn’t so much about how far apart people live as much as the commitment to do so. Ed and I were a bit unusual as neighbors, as we talked to each others for years. Many folks have next door neighbors who they never talk to and do not see any need to do so. Ed and I talked when we lived beside each other, and we will continue to talk when we are miles apart.

Friends and family members do not need to be ignored or forgotten unless you want to do so.

Commitment to our friends or our families means a willingness to keep in touch with them, in spite of, the distance involved. Out of sight need not mean out of mind.  Many forget that God is as close as his word or the Bible. Prayer is as fast as an email or a telephone call. What a friend we have in Jesus when we talk to him routinely in prayer. “Oh, what peace we often forfeit, all because we do not carry everything to Him in prayer.”

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Raymond Maher
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