“Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.” Nehemiah 1:2
“In a complex, mobile society like ours, life’s tapestry gets shredded. The continuity of our lives is ripped by transience and fragmentation. Community is fragile, torn, scattered. Our need to examine and to share our story is vital – for our own mental health, for our relationship and our cohesiveness in community, and for the good of a future that can learn from the pass.” (George Bush) Nehemiah is a book about building a community. In this world that we live in more than anything else we need community. I was raised in a community, a community where everyone knew each other. A community that cared about each other. Today so many times we don’t even know who lives next door. In order to survive in this world, we need a strong community.
The worst sin toward our fellow human being is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. We need to care enough about our neighbors to at least ask about them. Nehemiah cared enough to ask. Some people prefer not to know what’s going on, because information may bring obligation. Do you care enough about your neighbors to ask about them?