Biblical Law is its own reward. It puts you in tune with Creation, which changes everything. Even better is how it creates a moral aura around your life that people notice. One of the greatest gifts from God is when you can bless someone and they honestly appreciate it. Even more so if there’s no way they can repay.
There’s an empty spot for us today because the family across the breezeway has moved out. It was a single mom with four little girls, and sometimes one or another boyfriend. We never bothered to judge or offer sage advice, just did what we could to make life a little brighter for them and protect their interests. The girls were friendly to us and I treated them like my own grandchildren. They were a treasure for us and they knew it. Now they have a house actually big enough for all of them, but far away.
The sense of loss is intensified by the probabilities of what might replace them. We are in a bad cycle right now, with new neighbors that are troublesome. I say “cycle” because that’s really how it works. When we first moved in here, we had some folks we could get along with, though they weren’t wonderful people. After a little swapping in and out, we had some pretty good neighbors for awhile. They all moved on and slowly it went downhill. We’ve got trashy people now and I’ve backed off my aggressive litter pick-up because it’s just overwhelming.
There’s one decent retired guy alone who keeps to himself. He responds well to my friendly overtures. Everyone else is stand-offish and the overflow of their unruly lives is sometimes downright painful. But I won’t tell them that; it serves no good purpose, and would surely make things worse. I grew up among such folk and I know them well. If they don’t approach me like an authority figure voluntarily, then I wield no authority.
There are some good chances one or more will turn to us for some kind of support when things start to get rough. They may well turn into good neighbors once God starts working on them. Or maybe the economic troubles and the social upheaval coming could drive some riff-raff out. And the next occupants across from us may well be just as sweet in their own way as the last bunch. God knows, and He’s not telling us, but I keep praying that we can be useful to His glory.
Meanwhile, the typical cycle of such things calls for endurance and patience.