Monday, April 7, 2008

Love Your Neighbor

My precious neighbor left a huge bag of freshly grown lettuce from his garden on our back porch yesterday. It was such a thoughtful gesture and made an absolute delicious salad that night for dinner. With every bite, my family thought of them and how blessed we are by having them as neighbors.

Then there is the neighbor down the street.

The one that calls the homeowners association when your lawn is not up to par.

The one who yelled obscenities and sped around Hubby's car as he stopped to let our daughter off at the bus stop one morning.

Love your Neighbor.
Luke 10:27 (NIV) 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[b]"

He didn't say it would be easy.
He didn't say love the nice one more than the one that isn't so nice.
Just love your neighbor.

Yeah, sometimes this one is hard.

My husband is not really a neighbor kind of guy. It's not that he is mean or rude or even that he doesn't like our neighbors. He does. He is just a bit introverted. He would be more than happy to live on a big piece of land somewhere and just not have neighbors.

This is very unlike me who is all about the neighbors. The more the merrier for me. My extraverted self would die of loneliness and boredom if I didn't have a million kids running through my house on any given day.

We really have been so lucky to have good neighbors and have met some great friends simply because of our address. I have no doubt that we are in this neighborhood by divine intervention. Because this house we are in was actually my least favorite of all the houses we looked at when we were searching for a home 9 years ago.

So, it was this that I reminded my husband of when he wanted to give this not so nice neighbor a piece of his mind. Maybe the guy was having a bad morning. Just love 'em. Maybe he just needs you to give him a break today. So far, so good. No neighborhood brawls to date.

And as long as we are in the neighborhood (you caught that pun, didn't ya?), the other part that gets me with that verse is that part where he says to love your neighbor as yourself.

I guess you have to love yourself to really love someone else. Ever notice how the most loving people are so comfortable with themselves? They just exude peace and love. They are easy to love and they love easily.

But those aren't the ones that need us to love them. The ones that are hard to love and can't love easily - they need us. They really need us to love them.


Queen B said...

Great reminder. Thanks.

Gurni said...

Good blog! I am from Russia

Amy said...

Hey Neighbor,

Great post! We have lived in this same neighborhood with you for 6 years now (can you believe it). You were one of the first people we met. How fun is that. I do like waving at people as we drive off to our various activities through our the day. My family has gotten so busy that it seems like I am catching up with everyone in the 'hood as they happen to drive down the street as I am checking the mail and I lean against their van for a quick catch up conversation. But knowing that I can send one of my kids over to a number of different houses if I need a cup of milk...or an egg for dinner, is really cool:)And also knowing that if 'something' were to happen there are quite a number of neighbors I could call at 3am and it would be okay! Yes it's true we do have to love our neighbors as ourself. I do believe that God strategically places us in neighborhoods for a love on them and pray for them! Janel you are a great neighbor...I wish we had more time to spend with each other (sounds like we need to plan another 'pig pickin')...but I love knowing that you all are around the corner if needed...and we are here for you all as well!

Love ya!

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