The Neighbor

The Neighbor

An expert in the law asked Jesus the question, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus then told the story of the hated Samaritan who helped a man going from Jerusalem to Jericho who was robbed and beaten. Jesus then asks the lawyer, “Who do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The law scholar then replied to Jesus, “The one who had mercy on the man.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Butch is my neighbor. He lives in the house behind me and has to endure the backyard landscaping catastrophes of the Olivers. We share backyards and Kim often tells me to be considerate of Butch and his spouse, Jan. I asked them before I put the massive storage complex in my backyard and I weed-eat and Round-Up the complex and the dog lot about every six months whether it’s needed or not. I have had dogs to visit Butch and the family on a regular basis while I bragged to numerous friends and acquaintances about how my canines never leave the yard. They told me about the visits and shared that they enjoyed the company.

On Tuesday, Butch met me in my driveway. The dog was in the kennel and I was preparing to tell him that I was gonna Weed-eat soon when my great neighbor said, “Andy, can I cut up the fallen tree in your backyard and haul it to the road for you?” My first response was a prideful one, “No Butch! My brother and I are going to get it this weekend” (my brother wasn’t aware of the obligation but I had to tell Butch something. My pride, my independence, my manhood were in jeopardy!). Butch insisted and I chose the route of being a reluctant yet gracious receiver. Butch and Jan will be enjoying a meal or a movie on the Olivers in the near future.

Butch is the current example of a neighbor. Sure, he lives in my backyard but there is more to being a neighbor than proximity. Neighbors are sensitive to the needs around them and they do something about it! I needed Butch. Kim won’t let me climb ladders anymore and the thoughts of a Parkinson’s patient with a chainsaw is a scary scenario for my protective wife. Neighbors serve without expecting anything in return. I will not receive a bill from my good neighbor. Finally, neighbors encourage us to pay it forward by their example. I will be on the prowl to serve because of the contagious actions of this faithful disciple of Christ…..Butch.

Andy O. (704) 300-0062