Neighbors

My neighbors on both sides of us are elderly and extraordinary. When Whitney and I moved back to Birmingham sixteen years ago, we hadn’t been here long when Hurricane Ivan hit. Our neighbors called us on the phone and said, “Get over here. Bring your family and your dogs. We have a basement, and it is safer than your house on the slab.” We did and nearly got killed in the 30 yard sprint to their basement when a tree split in two as we were running under it. We survived and had a great time establishing a great relationship. He was pulling weeds the other day so I went over and chatted with him for a while. I hadn’t seen his wife for quite some time, and I asked if she was doing alright. He just started crying. She has been diagnosed with dementia and struggling with her memory. They have been married over sixty years. Their love for each other is obvious. Two have definitely become one. We just shared stories and pulled weeds together. When it was time for me to go back home, I told him I love him and to please give his bride a hug from me. He teared up again and said, “Hug your wife everyday. Show her you love her every day.” You never know what your neighbors are going through. Be a good neighbor.

Our neighbors on the other side go trout fishing often, but they never tell us the location of their secret fishing spot. They just smile and point towards the north. Although, they did offer to take us fishing but said they would have to blindfold us on the journey. We also take turns cutting our side yard in between our driveways. Every time we come home and they are outside, we talk about how each others’ week is going and encourage each other. They told us they would be out of town for a couple of weeks and to keep an eye on the place. He also asked if we would pick up their newspapers and get the mail occasionally. We are honored that our neighbors trust us with their mail. Be a good neighbor.

Jesus lets us know who our neighbor is and how to treat them.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (Luke 10:27 NIV)