Written by Heather Card.

And who is my neighbour?

A young woman wrote a Facebook post that was a veiled reference to her struggle with anxiety, but the hashtags scattered among her recent posts left was no doubt that she was in a difficult downward spiral. The demands of children, online learning, and financial pressures added a heavy weight to her struggles. Her frustrations were laid bare to the world through her public posts.

Sadly, the poignant language in her posts attracted comments from others that escalated into verbal sparing matches among her “friends,” who often bragged about their own ability to cope.  The young woman felt alone and hurt. Seeing the picture-perfect lives of others did not help either.

The young woman’s pastor was scrolling through the newsfeed that evening and noticed her post. He clicked the “care” icon and went back to prepping for Sunday’s livestream. He made a mental note to have one of the church staff check in later, but in the busyness of the week forgot to pass it on.

Her small group leader was doing some online shopping and had flipped over to Facebook for a break. She noticed the post and momentarily furrowed her brow with concern. “Must check in later,” she thought, and continued shopping.

An old friend who had not seen the young woman since high school also saw the post. She had been on a journey of healing herself and she was moved with compassion. She messaged the young woman and asked if it would be ok to Facetime. They exchanged numbers and the high school friend called every day. The friend learned a lot about the young woman’s situation just by listening carefully to her story.  And although the old friend did not live nearby, she used Uber Eats to schedule a meal to be delivered. The friend also called some of her friends living in the area and asked them to buy groceries and winter coats for the kids, promising that she would e-transfer funds right away. She also paid for three months of counselling for the young woman.

Which one of these three was a neighbour to the young woman?

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