There is a small opening in the cedar hedge between our property and our neighbours. We call it the Cookie Path. Our neighbour is a very spry and independant 89 year old widower who greatly misses his dear wife. His companion is a rescued black lab named Molly, and she is a fine defender of this gentleman! Mr. Neighbour has wonderful daughters who come regularly to check on him, help him with his home and garden, and bring him, as he says 'leftovers'. He is very active and busy, still driving on his own, so he is out a great deal.
Today as The Storyteller sniffed the wonderful aroma of Anna's Schoolhouse Brownies from Pleasant View Schoolhouse and Kelli's Butternut Tea Bread from Kelli's Blog he asked if he could be the one to take Mr. Neighbour his treats through the Cookie Path. When everything was cool and ready to take he slipped through the Cookie Path to share with Mr. Neighbour. When he came home from his little visit with Mr. Neighbour, his eyes were shining "Oh Mommy, it just feels so good to share God's love with Mr. Neighbour". In his hand he was holding two little packets of store bought cookies from Mr. Neighbour, for he and his sister. He shared willingly, then off to playing he went!
I was talking with a new friend about how she feels about some of her new neighbours. They are in many ways on opposite ends of the spectrum in almost every arena, and her neighbours have taken to ribbing her and her husband about the differences they see. My friend is determined to make every effort to continue to offer friendship. I'm sure it will be trying at times, but I really admire her desire to be a good neighbour. My sister has also had recent difficulties with her neighbours which have caused a real strain in their relationship, so I guess I'm thinking a great deal about neighbourliness. We have had some real challenges in the past with our former neighbours, so we do understand.
We are trying to teach the children that as much as it is up to them to 'live at peace with all men' (from Romans 12:18) and to be the kinds of neighbours that Jesus asks us to be. Little moments like today when we see how our children are grasping the satisfaction of doing what we are called to do really encourage me! I pray that our friendship with Mr. Neighbour will soon give us the opportunity to share much more than cookies with him - that we might help him know a real and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ.