"And I'm sure I'm gonna get a nice rash from this Virginia Creeper." Virginia Creeper is similar to Poison Ivy, but has 5 leaves. I'm highly allergic to both.
We have new neighbors. In fact, we have a new house next door, which houses the new neighbors. This is what the property looked like before said house and neighbors:
It was what insurance companies call an "attractive nuisance." It's a nuisance for the neighbors, but attractive for troublemakers.
Then, one day, it looked like this:
Now it looks like this:
Because of the excessive growth on the neighboring property due to neglect, we left a good 10-15 feet on the other side of our fence when we installed it, simply because we had no choice. The lot was overgrown, and we assumed no one would ever live there. Now the growth was gone, and there was a cumulative mess on the other side. And it was our responsibility, not theirs, to clean it.
So, here I was, raking and lifting load after load into the yard cart, and carting it into the "woods" (a line of trees) at the back of the property.
And grumbling. It was hot. I was sweating. Why wasn't Hubbles doing this instead of me (Because he was cutting the lawn)?
I pictured one or all of their three strapping young sons coming out with a rake, or rakes (as if they have their own and keep them stored in their breakfast nook), running over to me with a cold glass of lemonade, and saying, "Here, Mrs. Flaherty, you look like you could use this. And why don't you let me finish this for you?"
Ha! Riiiiiight. Didn't happen. Okay, one of those sons is only three years old. Not so strapping.
"They're probably looking out their window and thinking, 'I wish she wouldn't put all that mess there. It's so unattractive for us in the brand new house and yard to look at.'"
Grumble. Murmur. Complain. All of which gave me more fuel to continue on. The annoyance I felt fueled me for at least another half hour.
Then I got to the property line. I know this because there is one of these at the back and one at the front of the property, and I drew an invisible line between the two with my eye as I raked.
There was still more debris, mostly rocks, pine needles, and oodles of poison vines on THEIR side, and at this point, my attitude was, "That's their problem. Not mine."
Well, as God would have it, it became mine. I heard this still, small voice in my spirit--not at all the condescending tone that I was using, so I knew it didn't come from me:
"Keep going. Clean it all."
"Oh, come on, God, really? It's hot, and I've been out here for hours. I'm exhausted."
"No one said you had to do it all today. But clean it all."
"But they don't even appreciate it!"
"How do you know? They never even asked you to do it. You're the one who decided that it should be done. And just because they haven't done what you think they should do doesn't mean they don't appreciate it. If it were you on the other side of this fence, wouldn't you appreciate it if your neighbor did that for you?"
Love your neighbor as yourself. Ugh! Sometimes it's really not so fun.
So I cleaned it all.
Their landscaper doesn't seem to want to touch it. I have a feeling MY Landscaper is going to tell me otherwise.
Love your neighbor as yourself. Love their yard as much as you love your own.
When asked what the most important commandment was, Jesus replied,
"Hear O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only God. And you must love Him with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
The second is: 'You must love others as much as yourself.' No other commandments are greater than these."
We've heard it as "love your neighbor as yourself."
Love your neighbor's yard as much as your own.
If you love the Lord with everything you have and are, you'll clean it all.
Blessings Along the Path,
Song/video of the day: Lincoln Brewster: Love the Lord Your God
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