I enjoy yard work but loathe it when using cheap equipment and unfortunately that describes our lawn mower. It’s an old electric one with a dying battery that struggles to cut our tiny front yard before petering out.
A couple of weeks ago, Mark was out of town and I was trying to knock out cutting the grass before heading to a cookout. I tried a new technique of cutting the thicker, shaded areas first in hopes of having enough battery power to get me through the thinner, sun-scorched grass.
It didn’t work.
In fact, it left a horrible design on the yard that looked as if I had consumed a full bottle of wine on an empty stomach and then proceeded to cut it blindfolded.
Frustrated, I pushed and kicked at the motor, “You stupid piece of equipment!” (Okay, it was actually more colorful but I don’t want to pull you down with me here.)
The kids were sweeping as I was worked and Anastasia asked me, “Are you going to leave the grass like that?”
I had no power and no choice. “Yep. Let your father deal with it when he gets back.”
Yep, I was modeling mature behavior to the kids.
We headed in to shower and get ready for the party. A while later, as I pulled out of our garage, I see my next-door neighbor, Neil, cutting my front yard! He smiled and waved.
I jumped out of the car, “You’re the best neighbor ever!”
He laughed, “I figured you ran out of battery. I was on my way to cut Brenda’s. I just finish this up for you.” (Brenda is a widow, who lost her college age son in a car crash this year.)
This past weekend we had some water issues. I heard a strange noise out front and what do you know, it was Neil with a water vac, helping Mark and a friend clean it up.
Later that day I was working in a flowerbed and overheard him talking on the phone. He was helping someone figure out a computer problem.
As I continued working I began thinking about the many ways Neil has made our lives better. He’s always working on a project but he’ll drop it in a second to help out one of his neighbors.
Jesus summed up the God’s law telling us to love God and love our neighbor.
My days may be consumed serving at home and work but God reminded me this weekend to look outside with my serving – to look around and cross the street.
Do you have any neighbor stories?
Is it harder for you to reach out to your neighbors than a stranger?