Friday, September 23, 2011

Love Thy Neighbor

Some neighbor kids and my boys competed in driveway races. They had a ball running/biking/jumping down our driveway.

A while back, a neighbor made some comments that stung. Her word pierced a tender, sensitive spot, my Achilles' heel. I imagined time would heal the wound. Instead, the lesion festered and gaped, refusing to be nursed.

I knew the only true way to repair the wound was to mend the relationship, but my bruised psyche refused to budge.

My emotional side screamed, "But, she...." Then, I'd privately recount all those seemingly horrible comments and feel a smug satisfaction in all of her wrongness. But, as my psyche beamed, my wound oozed.

My reasonable side reflected on the Biblical mandate to love and forgive neighbors. It seemed hard to dispute what I needed to do when I was trying to forgive and love my actual neighbor.

As I've worked through my emotions, healing and forgiveness has come to pass. Tonight, we even had an actual pleasant conversation. As we gazed into each others' eyes and exchanged pleasantries, I realized it was becoming more and more difficult to sustain my anger. As much as it pained the stubborn side of me, I enjoyed our conversation. That old familiar knot in my stomach recoiled. Peace washed over me. I discovered the needed remedy.

As we parted ways and headed to our separate homes, I felt my wound soothe. I'm thinking it won't even leave a scar.

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