When Your Relationship With Your Neighbors Is Less Than Great

a few weeks ago, we received an anonymous note in our mailbox. though it was anonymous, it *seems* pretty obvious who wrote it, because of the way the wind blows.

to give you an idea of how many leaves we were actually talking about, here’s a picture that shanna took with the baby surrounded by them. ironically, every single one of the leaves comes from one of our other neighbor’s trees!

to be very honest, there were many ugly thoughts rolling through my brain when i first saw the note. and i quickly learned that i could respond in 1 of 2 ways:

1. i could respond by building the wall between us stronger. like buying a leaf blower and blowing them all off my yard and onto his. or by installing a fence between our yards. or by “f***ing it” and doing nothing, like another neighbor told me to do.

2. or i could respond by building a bridge. it would require some work, time, and a good dose of humility. but the good thing is, because of Christ’s influence in my life, this was actually a doable option.

so… after stewing on it for a few days, i raked all the leaves up, mulched up the leftover ones, and then raked them a second time (they filled the yard back up as soon as i was done). and as i was raking and thinking about it all, it saddened me that we don’t have a better relationship with this one neighbor… or at least a good enough one that he could’ve felt comfortable talking to us face to face about it.

so we did some baking. we made some cookies and took them over with a note apologizing for the inconvenience. i tried to let him know our door is open anytime an issue arises in the future. and the hope is that a bridge has been built, or at least begun.

there are so many examples in life and ministry, just like this, where we’re given opportunity to respond.  and they’re usually small, mundane moments that don’t get a lot of attention. but it’s in those moments where our leadership money is earned.

i don’t want to just “settle” for what is around me. i want to lead the change and create a new and better reality.

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3 thoughts on “When Your Relationship With Your Neighbors Is Less Than Great

  1. Oh those cookies look good! Hope your neighbor liked them! Thanks for setting such an amazing example and for reminding me of another way to “walk across the room!”

  2. Pingback: Valuing Others Above Ourselves | Amy Mitchell | Provoketive Magazine

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