My kids came running up to my room and tell me the neighbors are working on the fence, so they locked our bigfatbeagle, Sidney Bristow, up in the house. I peeked out the window, and saw THIS:
DO YOU SEE THIS? DO YOU SEE THIS? DO YOU SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?
One of the beauties of living in a tract home (on a cul-de-sac, no less) is that we have on many sides of us VERYCLOSENEIGHBORS. And this particular verycloseneighbor decided that he would like to replace our common fence yesterday. Starting with tearing down the current one. WITHOUT TELLING ME.
I walked downstairs, deciding what to say or to do. I opened the door, marched right on out there and said, "Hello, Stranger In My BackYard! Whatcha doin?" *sweet smile.* Here's what went down after that:
SIMBY: "Oh, well, these posts are rotten so we have to replace the fence."Self-control, self control, self CONTROL.
ME: "Ummmm. Do you know when you're going to be done? Just seeing how long to keep my beagle in my house."
SIMBY: "Well we have to blah, blah, blah. And we need to something, something something. Then, we'll have to wait for blibbety, blah, blah. And we think we're going to be able to be done as early as Saturday."
ME: "ummmm, today is Monday."
ME: "I'm just trying to figure out how to keep my dog out of your yard"
SIMBY: "Oh, that's okay if she comes over"
ME: "No, it's not"
SIMBY: *blinks* Well, I can put up some chicken wire.
ME: Okay... that's a start.
ME: "Well, I don't want to be the shrew here, but in the future, when you're going to do something like this, you might want to come and knock on a person's door and say, 'Hey, don't walk nekkid in your kitchen 'cause I'm going to be standing 3 feet from your window.' or 'Hey, lock up your beagle 'cause I don't want to be bitten when she's protecting your yard.' or 'Hi! I'm the stranger who lives behind you and I'll be here all week."
ME: *storms in house*
Compassion, mercy, grace.... love...
You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.Matthew 5:43-47
Lord, help me to be graceful and loving to my neighbors. Help me to remember your willingness to love ME, even when I am inconsiderate to others. Let me remember that my behaviors affect those around me, and forgive me for the times I've neglected to think before I move. Help me use Your grace to be kind to these people who are making me so mad... and please keep my beagle safe in her makeshift dog run until we can build her one that's more secure.
In Jesus' Name...