The road I live on is named after my family. My dad grew up out here too and can remember not locking the doors to the house when you left. Most of my childhood was spent riding bikes past houses that were owned by people who share my last name. Could I name all of my neighbors? You bet! Duckpond Road divided us for school, but basketball and kickball united us when we all got home. You let a loved one pass away and one of those neighbors was cutting your grass while the others were rallying food and cleaning your house. There was even an occasional “neighborhood” block party. No one cared if your dog played in their yard and everyone’s moms and dads parented all of us, share and share alike. You didn’t have to just borrow someone else’s tools to finish your project, the neighbor came with them to help you out. No need to look up “neighbor” in the dictionary– we defined it. I loved that I was from Browntown; loved that I grew up here!
Today, down that same road, only a few homeowners are the same. Some have moved and others have passed away, along with the sense of truly being neighbors. Today, I wish the folks across the way wouldn’t street race at 2am. Today, I wonder if it’s truly just target practice at 9:30 on any given night. Today, I get annoyed when I can’t turn down my road because someone else’s dog wants to stay in my way the whole time. Today, I’m convinced that when something goes missing– it was stolen. Today, I lock every door there is to the house when I leave. Same thing applies when it’s time to go to bed, the cars too. Needless to say, I cannot name everyone on my road anymore. Today, I’m completely over my neighborhood.
Unfortunately, that attitude has spread to more than just the street I live on. It’s infected the way I feel about my Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. If you’re an avid follower of my blog (bless you, by the way.), then you know I’m learning more and more just who my neighbor is supposed to be and that I’m to be loving them. But…. love my neighbor? How can I love my neighbor when I don’t even like my neighborhood?? Can it be traded in? If so, then I want a new one, please!
I have no idea how grace is supposed to enter this picture when, today, I don’t even want to be at the coloring table…