There was a day I blogged several times a month. Since my depression worsened, I just don't feel like doing it, so this is only my 5th post this year.
Diane and her dog
I moved into the duplex I live in two years ago last month. It is a small town, and I live two blocks off the main street of town - well, I live on West Main Street, but I refer to the street where most of the stores are as the main street.
One thing I love about living where I am, is that I can walk to so many places in town. There was often a woman walking her dog, or actually standing on the next block smoking and holding him on his leash. I would always speak, ignoring the dog. Disclaimer: I really, really dislike dogs....and I really find it nauseating when people refer to themselves as "mommy and daddy" and act like their dog is a human. Disclaimer two: I really, really hate cigarettes.
I finally found out this lady lives three houses down from me, and this year in my walking past found her name is Diane and she is 70.
Ass I have walked past, Diane has often been sitting on her porch. I stop and chat. I found out that her son, his wife, and their little girl live in the house beside her towards my place. I found out that Diane is lonely, and pretty much only has the lady beside me, Candy, as her friend.
And I found out why I never saw her walking the dog anymore. The 14 year old dog was not doing well.
I hadn't talked to her for a while, and she and her husband were sitting on their porch when I walked to town last week, so I stopped and chatted with them for at least 20 minutes. I asked about the dog, and she said she had to have it put down in July, and that they called on her birthday to tell her she could pick up the ashes. My immediate thought was how weird it is to cremate an animal, but I said some sympathetic words and asked if she thought she would get another dog....she won't. I suggested a cat, and that is definitely not happening.
I was off today, and decided to walk to town. When I stepped outside, my neighbors beside me were outside, and I chatted with them for 10-15 minutes. The lady, Candy, was saying she had her windows up the other day and whatever I was cooking smelled really good. I guessed it was my beef vegetable soup. After chatting, I headed to town just as Diane came out, sat on her porch swing, and lit up. I stopped to chat with her for a few minutes.
During the course of our conversation, she said "Candy was telling me she smelled something really good you were cooking the other day." I replied that it was probably my beef vegetable soup." "No, I think it was the day you were making lasagna." I was totally amused that these two ladies were discussing my cooking. 😀😀
The Good Samaritan on the motorcycle
I have needed new back tires on my car for a while. I got the oil changed right before my Kentucky trip last month at the tire place conveniently two blocks away, and the one guy told me I needed new ones when I picked the car up.
I was on my way home from work last a couple of weeks ago, and thought something felt weird as I was driving. I was cruising on the four lane when it showed I had 17 pounds of air in my right back tire. I was about 1/4 a mile from an intersection where there was a big pull off graveled place, and decided to try to make it there instead of changing the tire beside the road.
Disclaimer three: I CAN change a tire, and have before.
I pulled off, muttering the whole time, and got the "donut" tire and jack out of the trunk. It had obviously never been used - the tire and the jack. I got the hubcap off, loosened the lug nuts, and jacked up the car. Then I tried to get the tire off, and had no luck. Several cars had driven by the road that crossed the 4 lane that I was beside. I saw a young guy on a motorcycle drive by, then swing back and pull in.
Disclaimer four: I hate motorcycles, believe motorcycle laws are way too lax, think you have to be half nuts to ride one, and totally insane to go helmetless.
He turned his bike off, and asked if I needed help. I told him I couldn't get the tire off, and he said with steel on steel it can be difficult, and you need to kick it. So, I kicked it. Nada. (I think that means nothing in Spanish). He said he would get under the car and kick it. He laid down, got under the car, and kicked the tire. It came loose, and to my horror the jack also did, and the car fell. I had a brief moment of panic wondering how fast I could get the car jacked up again if he was pinned. Thankfully, he wasn't.
He said he was fine, and never got under anything that he wasn't sure there was plenty of room if something like that happened. He got out, and proceeded to change my tire the rest of the way. He asked me at one point if anyone else had stopped to see if I was OK and needed help, and was amazed when I said no. I asked him if I could give him anything for his trouble, and he said no and told me to keep safe. I shook his hand, and he was off on what I consider to be a very unsafe vehicle. Without a helmet, of course.
How often do we steer clear of people who are different than us, who may do things we dislike, live a lifestyle we disagree with, who don't fit into our neat little mold of what we consider good people and someone we would want to be around?
I have worked at the hospital as the ER greeter for over three years, and in the main lobby almost five years. I have seen and dealt with all kinds of people, and people of all nationalities and walks of life. Drug addicts have come in to register in the ER. I have had people curse me out and tell me to go to hell. I have had people rant to me about people not wearing masks and not getting the vaccine, and have had people rant to me about having to wear the masks and how bad the vaccine is.
I have had Trump supporters go on about how bad the Democrats and Biden are, and have had Democrats and the occasional conservative go on about how bad Trump is. As part of my job, I have to treat people with courtesy no matter who they are or how they act....but shouldn't we all do that all of the time?
One of my favorite authors, and one of the few I have met, Kimberly Woodhouse, posted this a few days ago:
"Take a moment and be honest.
If you get riled up and post about politics, masks, the pandemic, vaccines, your rights, etc, and you are a believer in Jesus - let me ask you this:
Do you spend as much time sharing His love and the Gospel as you do speaking out about whichever “side” you are on?"
I shared it, and said "Touche' post". Only two people "liked it": my best friend, and my author friend who had posted it. Maybe everyone else felt guilty. I did, but I still shared it. 😄😎
Jesus was asked by the religious leaders in an attempt to trap him "What is the greatest commandment?"
His reply is one any Christian should know by heart:
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Matthew 12:29-31. ESV
How well do Christians in America....in the Republican Party...do with the loving their neighbor?
Would they stop to help someone by the road who had a Biden/Harris bumper sticker on their car, or drive by? Would they stop to help someone who had a "Proud to be gay" bumper sticker on their bumper? Would they be friendly with neighbors who were on the other side of the political aisle? Gay neighbors? Muslim neighbors....
There is nothing special about helping those like us. There is no "being like Jesus moment" to befriend those who agree with us politically.
Jesus loved his enemies and did good to those who did Him wrong. If He had Facebook, He wouldn't unfriend or block someone for dissing His politician. He would stop by the road to help anyone, befriend anyone.
The whole message of the Good Samaritan Story was not about a guy who stopped to help someone like him who was a great friend. It is about a guy who stopped to help someone who was the enemy.
Oh, and both of those neighbors I mentioned.......they are conservative as I am, but are Trump supporters, which I am definitely not. 😜