Monday, June 27, 2016

"Let’s remember to love our neighbor as ourselves." - @FloraReigada

Brothers Carlos and Jack Martin had noticed that the elderly woman in their condo development just seemed to vanish. Not knowing so much as her name, they asked around, learning she is Agnes Smith.
“She lives next to me in 3-C,” a young woman said. “She must be in her eighties. And yeah, I guess I haven’t seen her lately. But excuse me, I gotta run. I’ve got an appointment with my hairdresser.”
Though this situation is fictional, involving characters from my “Castle in the Sun” romance series, it is all too real and it is all around us.
One day the brothers knocked at their elderly neighbor’s door. When she didn’t answer, they exchanged worried looks.
“Maybe she fell and she’s unconscious on the floor,” Army hero Jack said.
“Or worse,” Carlos the Casanova cringed.
They knocked again and were relieved to hear a feeble, “just a minute.”
The door cracked open and a suspicious eye peeked out. “What is it?”
Jack began. “Ma’am, I’m Jack Martin from 2-F and my brother, Carlos here, lives in 5-A. We haven’t seen you in a while and we’re wondering if everything is okay.”
“I’m fine,” an annoyed voice snapped.
The brothers offered her a slip of paper with their cell-phone numbers, in case she needed help, or something from the store. She took it and the door closed.
About two weeks later she called Jack, asking if he would take out her trash and change some burned-out light bulbs. She apologized for the mess and smell in her apartment.
Several days later, she called Carlos. “Can you drive me to an ATM I have my groceries and prescriptions delivered, but I ran out of cash and no one will take a check, even though I’ve never had one bounce. I misplaced my credit card.”
Agnes Smith continued to call the brothers on occasion. They got to know her better and she was not fine at all. She had crippling arthritis, problems with her heart and her husband had passed away five years earlier. It surprised the brothers to learn how many, living within an easy drive, knew she had needs—but never offered help. This included younger relatives.
One Sunday, Jack and Carlos mentioned Agnes’ situation to their priest. The following week, he spoke anonymously of her in his homily.
“She could be our mother, grandmother, aunt, a neighbor, or any one of us. Let’s remember to love our neighbor as ourselves.” (See Matthew 22:39

Flora invites you to visit her blog:
“Love’s Sweetest Revenge,” the first book in Flora’s “Castle in the Sun” romantic/suspense series, takes Liz down a wooded path to danger and life-changing adventure. The book is available from Helping Hands Press. Visit:

Flora’s devotional, “Where Your Heart Meets God’s,” explores the many ways God whispers our name. Visit:


  1. Fiction based on fact. This pierced my heart.

    Sonia Banks

  2. Exactly: fictional names, but all too real situations.

  3. It is good that you have reintroduced this situation in to our lives that we may be on the lookout for those in need who do not ask. At least we can offer our assistance.