So Who Is My Neighbor?
So Who Is My Neighbor?
Stephen A. Peterson
Private First Class Zak D’Amico was known by all in his platoon to be a troublemaker. No one in the platoon disputed this when the subject was brought up. He deliberately set friend against friend with outlandish remarks such as: “Were you aware that Private Muser was trying to get a date with your girlfriend over in 4th platoon?” Whenever members of the Company could no one would eat with Private D’Amico in the dining facility, choose him to be on their team during athletic oriented activities or be his buddy during field training exercises unless ordered. Rather work together with other members of his unit, he would come up with an illness, injury or be mysteriously absent from work details. He would always have a written excuse or reason to give the Platton Sergeant or First Sergeant.
Private Gandy felt sorry for Private D’Amico and tried his best to be a friend to him. But after being taken advantage of on two previous occasions, Private Gandy was hesitant to want to try a third time. After a third and especially annoying incident, Private Gandy verbalized his frustration to another member of the Platoon. “You know, Frank, Jesus said we are to love our neighbor. How in the devil can you one love someone who is so darn ignorant and obnoxious?”
Private Nix’s response made Private Gandy think. “You know Jesus didn’t say we had to love the personality (the mask) of a person that we make contact with. We are really commanded to love the child of God that is inside them.”
Now when Private D’Amico becomes obnoxious, impossing and foolish, Private Gandy tells himself that he does not like his personality and the hurt he frequently causes others. Private Gandy follows his thoughts with a prayer healing in his life. When he does this, Private Gandy gets a glimpse of a hurting child who possibly loathes his own behavior but must put up his mask to protect his ego.
Even though Private D’Amico continues to display his annoying personality, Private Gandy does not become as angry as once did. At times, Private Gandy can find some attempts of God-like actions and behaviors trying to surface in Private D’Amico.
There is, more than likely, a Private D’Amico in everyone’s life. Perhaps it will help you remember that there is a child of God who resides in the cruelist, most obnoxious person. Such individuals need your prayers and understanding to grow and develop their personalities in a Godly manner.
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