Finding New Neighbors

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8.
In one week, Jameson will knock on my door for trick or treat. Jameson is my new next door neighbor. Well, he and his parents. Jameson is two years old, and his new house is aglow with orange lights in anticipation of a sweet day.
And there’s another neighbor I just met, Mary Jo. Mary Jo and I have lived within a block of each other for decades, but we’d never met before. She was working in her yard one day when I walked past with my houseguest. My son is deploying soon and has left his dog, Boomer, in our care.
Boomer is helping me connect with neighbors I’ve lived near for a very long time and with those who just moved in.
But Boomer has visited before. And I’ve walked by Mary Jo’s house probably a hundred times. But the second time we met–all within a week–Mary Jo was having a bad day.
Her best friend had just died. The service was the next day.
Then I did something I hardly ever do. Without asking, I stepped close, put my hand on her shoulder and asked God to comfort her.
After a brief chat with Mary Jo, Boomer and I were on our way. I saw her again a few days later, Boomer and three grandchildren along for the walk.
“Did you just move in?” Mary Jo asked.
I’ve lived in my house since 1977.
God had coordinated the comings and goings of two women who had resided within the length of a football field for decades. I hope to see more of Mary Jo.
Next week, Jameson will knock on my door. I plan to knock on Mary Jo’s door next time I walk past and offer her a jar of jam.
Sweets to the sweet.
Robert Frost wrote that fences make good neighbors. I know now that dogs make better ones.

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