Good Fences Don’t Make Good Neighbors

Creative Commons by russelljsmith
 Good neighbors do.
And yes, I may have committed some kind of literary blasphemy with the twisting of Mr. Frost’s whole concept, but the reality is, I miss my neighbors, they moved out two weeks ago and there is a wide, silent hole just sitting downstairs until new tenants move in, and that is just what they will be for a while until we get to know them. 
If there’s one thing I hate more than moving is seeing neighbors move, maybe it’s because I’ve always been the one moving and shaking and Little A and I are hunkered down, settled peacefully with no plans for leaving for now. 
I’m happy for them, I really am, a bigger place is what they’ve been dreaming and praying and really, truly needing now for years, but selfishly I wanted to stand in front of their moving truck with arms crossed and say, “Uh, uh.  This a big joke, right?  This ain’t happening.”  They became our family over the last three years and we became one big, noisy family together. 
Little A sat at the dining room table last night and said, “It just doesn’t feel right without Noah here. “  I had to agree and swallow my own sadness and memories of late night talks, urgent phone calls when one kid was just driving us crazy and we had to move the mass of craziness from one floor to another–at least for a few hours.
There has been a baptism, improptu prayer time, missions send-off, seeing the Lord’s calling, surgery, court date, fundraiser, Easter sunrise morning, coming-of-age party, birthday parties, dance parties, match-making and consolation talks and spiritual pep-talks.  Yes, they have been more to me than your “average” neighbor, they have become friends, and truthfully, I’m a little jealous of their new neighbors now.
Sure, Jesus surrounded himself with 12 close friends and was oftentimes pressed in by masses of people, but I know he knew the pain of loneliness, which is why he was so awesome about reaching out to the sick and the lost and the isolated, the woman with the issue of blood, the short tax collector, the blind, the deaf and the mute, he understood what it meant to be lonely.  He had been separated from his heavenly Father, the one who knew him best for his whole life. Yes, they had communion–Jesus would often spend entire nights in prayer, but there is something about presence, real, true presence.

It’s hard to give your heart away in little pieces and watch those pieces drive off on a moving truck.  I guess this is preparing me for when Little A isn’t little anymore and leaves for college–Please, Lord, don’t let that happen…Do…But Don’t 
“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.”
That would be me.
What can you do right now to show your neighbor how much you love and appreciate them and their barky dog?  Don’t just sit there, go do it.

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