Love your neighbor as yourself


When I bought my home three years ago this spring, I had no idea who my next door neighbors were. Just by looking around, I knew the people on one side had a lawn-care business but had no idea about the folks on the other side.

Before I actually had possession, I called those with the lawn-care service and asked them to mow the lawn as it was looking pretty shaggy. They were to mow it just this once and send me a bill. While talking to them, I also arranged for snow removal. That was three years ago this spring. The bill has still not arrived though I have tried to get it.

Snow removal was also done by “someone” – I always assumed it was their service but never really knew for sure. Again, no bill.

Remember this past Saturday when this snow came? Windy! Blustery! Cold! Wind chill! And snow! Lots of it! Did I mention it was cold? I stayed in the house all day until bedtime when Kelly made our regular trip outdoors. She had gone out on request during the day but only stayed as long as necessary.

I watched a drift build in front of the garage. My roommate told me there was quite a drift there and then I REALLY looked at it – waist deep! I would have to shovel and this was not going to be a five minute job!

Church was cancelled so when I got up Sunday morning, I dressed for the dreaded shoveling job. Somehow I just couldn’t make myself go out into the cold even though the wind had laid down and it was sunny. Still cold!

Early afternoon, I saw my other neighbor (not the one with the lawn service) out cleaning his drive with his 4-wheeler with blade and thought how much I needed something like that. The next thing I noticed was that he had finished his own drive, right beside mine, and was now plowing MY drive. I didn’t even brave the cold to go out and say thank you.

When I did go out that evening with Kelly, I found he had not only taken care of the massive drift and plowed the drive but had even swiped the walk up to the deck. Wow! I didn’t actually see how thorough he had been until the next morning by light of day when I discovered his footprints where he had even cleaned the steps to the deck!

People who live next door go along with the purchase of a property. Sometimes those people turn into real neighbors – people you can count on when needed – and other times they are just those folks who live next door. Through no doing of my own, I got real neighbors!

In return, I try to be a true neighbor to them and do as Scripture admonishes, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)

I believe that means those who just live next door as well as those who show their neighborliness in visible ways.

My thanks go to those who have reached out to me without ever a word being spoken as well as to those who manifest their neighborliness in less demonstrative ways and, if you watch, you’ll find them in your life frequently.

Show Jesus’ love by being a true neighbor to someone today.