Health & Spirit

Should we offer to help our neighbors with a handicapped son?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: A new family just moved in near us, and they apparently have a physically handicapped son who requires much care. We've barely met them, but should we offer to help them somehow? We don't want to embarrass them or be nosey, but we want to be good neighbors. -- Mrs. J.B.

A: I'm thankful you want to be good neighbors; all too often today we become so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget those around us. But Jesus gave us a much higher standard: "love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:33).

Do you remember Jesus' story about the good Samaritan? (You'll find it in Luke 10:25-37.) Jesus was asked what it meant to love your neighbor, and He replied by telling about a man who had been beaten and robbed on a lonely road. Without help he'd die -- but the first two men who came across him ignored him. A third man, however, stopped, tended his wounds, and then took him to an inn and paid for his care. Although he was a foreigner, he alone was the true neighbor.

What can you do? First, get acquainted with your new neighbors. Welcome them; take a small gift to them (such as flowers or a home-baked pie); let them know you're glad they are your neighbors. Offer also to help them with practical questions -- where the grocery stores are, for example. Later on, perhaps you can invite them for coffee or dinner.

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In addition, let them know that while you don't want to intrude, you know they bear a special burden because of their son's situation, and you are willing to help -- even in small ways. Assure them of your prayers also. The Bible says, "Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up" (Romans 15:2).


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:



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