Monday, April 16, 2007

The Power of Good

So, you just never know how God will send the chance for healing. I was back out in the yard today and noticed that my neighbor's cherry tree had gotten catastrophically blown down onto their roof. I have had a few issues with this neighbor over my compost pile, and while things have never been ugly, and they've never been unkind to us nor we to them, it has just caused me to feel self-conscious and sort of weirdly, pridefully inferior to them, or allow myself to think they think poorly of me...you know? I struggle with that. It is one of my main mortal weaknesses. I have to fight hard to keep from automatically assuming that people I meet find me annoying and odd and unlikeable. Satan is such a meanie.

Anyway, because of my own insecurities, there's been just a slight pall of awkwardness over us for the last couple of years. Silly stuff. So today, Greg was out working on his poor tree and I perfunctorily offered to help him clean up and he politely refused and I went about my work, thinking that I hoped he was noticing the beautiful compost I was harvesting out of my pile. Then, the magic moment happened: He asked to borrow a rope! It doesn't sound like such a big deal but for me, all the weird feelings I've ever had about them just melted away and all I wanted was to be able to help them out. I felt like such an idiot for being stuck for so long. My theme song could be "Stuck in a Moment" by U2. Anyway, at the magic moment, my pride just disappeared, I got the rope, he used it, I called over a couple times to make sure he was okay when I heard him get frustrated, he thanked me, we shook hands and had a perfectly normal conversation about all the trees we've both lost in the last few years because of tornadoes, hurricanes and now this wind. The last moment was the best--we noticed a little wee tree growing up a foot or two from where the roots of this one came out of the ground, and we discovered that it is a shoot from the roots of our Bradford pear tree that came down a few years ago in the hurricane. His wife had come out by then and she said, "Well, I hope it survives the shock-we'll try to take good care of it." In the mere turn of a single instant, I feel like they're my neighbors now, not just the people who live behind us.

I know God looks down on me sometimes and just shakes his head. Sheesh.

6 comments:

  1. I have such a high opinion of you Kellie and can't imagine anyone feeling any differently! I DO know what you mean about the assuming thing though - I always worry that I am inflicting myself on others... I'm glad you had a nice moment with your neighbors and I hope that pear tree grows big and strong! :)

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  2. THAT is a good story!! It's funny how prayers are answered, isn't it? Even when I haven't TECHNICALLY prayed to have my heart softened towards someone (durn pride!) it seems like Heavenly Father will help me in the smallest ways to make things right. I love it that you were ready :)

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  3. I think that pride of looking up on others is the hardest one to conquer, Kellie! What a great experience you've had to overcome it.

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  4. Just like the little tree sprout, now you have a little blossoming relationship that you can take good care of. I have a problem with my neighbors--that is, not talking to them as much as I should. Everytime an opportunity opens up, I forget to take it. I think for me it's just laziness. But who knows who needs us out there? I'm glad you were there for your neighbors with a rope.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this. I'm sure they also appreciated the exchange and probably look up to you more than you know.

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  6. i need a little "power of good" for my neighbor problem. part of me thinks i should just suck it up and try to befriend them again, a bigger part of me isn't ready yet! so stupid! thank you for sharing this story.

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Thank you for sharing your insights!