Neighbors

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It’s a weird world we live in. I live in a cul-de-sac where there are only 4 houses. You would think I would know my neighbors really well as a result, but sadly we barely speak to one another. There are tons of logistical reasons for this- one guy parks in his garage and I only catch glimpses of briefly as he does his yard work early on Saturday’s. One family seems to be coming and going a lot but head’s are down and they always seem to be in a hurry. I have actually met our newest neighbor’s when they moved in, did the Southern “bake some banana nut bread and take it over” thing- which they seemed to appreciate, but we haven’t really interacted since. We are absolutely guilty of the hurried coming-and-going as well. And no one on the street has kids my kids ages/genders. These are all “normal” reasons we haven’t really connected, but I keep thinking about the verse in the Bible that says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I realize this is a much bigger mandate than loving the people who share Grand Court with me- but shouldn’t it include them?

I was walking outside this morning to roll my trash can up looking, well, sketchy is the word that comes to mind. Tank top, capri pj pants, no make up, hair not fixed- not exactly my favorite look for myself, but this is how I roll in the mornings. I was truthfully planning to speak to no one. But my next door neighbor was outside washing his car. His back was to me so I really could have just walked back in without being considered rude, but I decided to just holler over a “good morning”. (Side note- love the word holler. Did not grow up with holler, but after living in TN 10 years I think I’ve earned the right to use it.) So, my neighbor waved back and then he proceeded to tell me he’s home from work because he is recovering from neck surgery he had last week. We ended up standing in our front yards talking for about 15 minutes. My thoughts while we conversed ranged from concern about his recovery, guilt that I hadn’t even known and would have loved to have prayed for him or taken them a meal or something, self consciousness about my appearance, including but not limited to, worry that I was not really covered appropriately by the tank top. Conversation ended with me telling him to take it easy and let us know if they needed anything, and we both went inside.

I am confessing I need to do a better job of loving my Grand Court neighbors. I admit I get deterred by non-receptiveness on their parts. But, since I claim to (and do) follow Jesus, perhaps that is not really a valid excuse as the Bible says we “were his enemies” when he died for us. So I’m just going to start by reaching out with some chicken salad sandwiches as a little “glad-you-are-mostly-recovered-but-I-still-want-to-let-you-know-the-Russell-family-cares-about-you” offering. I’ll keep you posted on where it all leads…..

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