Moving into our new home, in a new place was exciting. Inside my mind I played out the perfect Stepford Wives scenario of how it would be. We would move in, all our neighbors would come running with casseroles in one hand and paint brushes in the other--brunch dates would be set before phone numbers where exchanged.
Unfortunately that didn't happen. And truth be told, the whole "why me" act began to take hold. Had we just signed our life away to live in a place where love thy neighbor was far-from ever being acted on? The assumption that the neighbors needed to come knocking at our door offering warm-hugs of introduction was a swing and miss on my part. By moving into the neighborhood I automatically became a neighbor and the initiative to meet-and-greet wasn't just for the folks down the street.
Slowly names have been learned and friendly hellos have been made. But it has truly been the snow this winter that has paved the way.
First it was Bob.
From across the street he jokingly yelled for me to come tend to his foot of snow pile-up once I was done with mine. As he broke-out his snow blower he crossed the street with nothing more than a head-nod. Without words he began to work, not needing to be asked. It wasn't until my driveway was cleared did we shake hands and introduce ourselves.
Then it was Julia's husband.
The snow had fallen as if in one dump. It was dark and cold, nearly a foot of snow needed to be shoveled before the big guy got home. He had been stuck in traffic for nearly four hours and if the snow didn't get moved then it would make for an impossible task in the morning. So I pulled up the blinds where my tiny could watch and began to shovel the snow.
It wasn't until I heard the grinding of ground that I stopped what I was doing and turned around. A man I didn't know was shoveling the snow, along side me he worked, saying no more than a hello.
The job was done in no time which allowed a few moments to talk. He was the husband of the wife two houses up.
This last storm has been crazy, snow-slush-and ice. And while it has made for tricky conditions out on the road and at home, it has been a sweet blessing watching faces become known.
No request or plead needed, the snow just gets moved. Last night was the most recent of love freely given. I heard the sound of its engine, peeking out the window I could see. A man wrapped head-to-toe plowing our driveway that was in need.
The big guy got home just in time to thank him.
Love thy neighbor has come through, no casseroles needed.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-38