Cissy Cartwright is a mail carrier who has been delivering mail for over twenty years in the small hometown of Hope Hull, in the county of Montgomery. She explained that delivering mail for so long allowed her to get familiar with everyone on her route, including 66 year old Tommy Hope. Knowing that Mr. Hope has been one to regularly get his mail, she found it a little odd when she discovered his mail piling up for days. She figured something must be wrong. Cissy took a detour from her routine delivery schedule, just so she could go and check-up on Mr. Hope.
The caring mail carrier found a badly injured Mr. Hope on the floor. She quickly called 911 to get him the assistance he needed. Cissy later found out that he had a bad fall resulting in broken bones which left him lying helplessly on the floor for ten days—not one, not two, but ten days. Mr. Hope stayed alive by drinking from a bucket of rain water that was nearby. He also used his cane to get ice from a nearby ice-maker. His strength of endurance is totally remarkable.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan found in St. Luke 10:25-37, tells the story of a man who got robbed, beaten, and left to die, while traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. A Priest and a Levite passed him by without showing any love or compassion. But the Samaritan, who was expected to pass by, stopped and help. He took care of the injured man, spent his money to make him well, and promised to pay the balance when he returned. Above all else, this story teaches us what it means to “love.” It identifies who our neighbors are and what it means to be neighborly.
In essence, our neighbor includes anyone who’s in need. If there’s a child next door who gets verbally or physically abused every day, he/she is our neighbor deserving of help. If there’s a homeless guy sitting outside of our job asking for food, he’s our neighbor deserving of help. If we have a hunch that someone is in need, we ought to act upon it, God might be sending us to that person so we can perform some neighborly duties.
Like the Good Samaritan described in St. Luke, Cissy went to the hospital to visit Mr. Hope. She also promised to personally hand-deliver all his mails directly to his front door, so she can keep an eye on him. We shouldn’t walk by anyone who needs our help, especially when we have it in our power to help. Cissy didn’t have to make the trip up to Mr. Hope’s house that was located a good distance from the roadside. She could have shrugged off her concerns and move on. Or she could have said it’s none of her business. But Cissy cared enough to go investigate and offered her assistance. Her neighborly act saved a life.
What neighborly act have you done since recently?