Tues., Dec. 20, 2016
Proverbs 21:21: Those who pursue righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.
The end of last week and into the weekend was overstuffed for Rick and I. As I explained to him earlier in the week what we had going, he groaned. My positive spin: we’d get to spend time in the car together, which rarely happens. The previous weekend, we went to a Christmas party on Friday night and drove in separate cars. Seriously.
We have great neighbors. Within just a few weeks of living on North Franklin Street, we quickly determined no one could break into our house while we were gone. One of our neighbors would very lovingly call 911 before they could get away. In fact, it kind of happened to a man who resanded the house’s hardwood floors. Rick spent a chunk of the summer adding onto and refurbishing our 110-year-old carriage house. If he were to fall off the roof, I’m confident our great neighbors Kathryn or Sharon would have the EMT’s called long before I knew he had fallen off. Even if I was home.
Friday night, we came home just ahead of the predicted snow storm. Saturday morning, I got up earlier than Rick to tie up some work things before we left for my family’s Christmas. A beautiful new 4-5 inches of fresh snow blanketed our yard and sidewalks. Yes, a dutiful wife would have bundled up and started shoveling snow. I decided getting some church things in order was more important. I was surprised when Rick announced later that Sharon’s husband, Larry, was shoveling our sidewalk.
Larry and Sharon live right next door. When Rick needs a helping hand, I encourage him to ask Larry. Larry is retired and claims he’s always looking for something to do. Yes, there are times I could help Rick. Why deny Larry the opportunity for an exciting adventure with Rick? (I get plenty of these as it is!) Graciously, Larry knows he has more “free” time than I do. He has helped get steel on the carriage house roof, move furniture, mowed the lawn and watered plants for us. A few weeks ago, Larry saved the day. We were moving a king-sized mattress up a very narrow old staircase in our house. If Larry and friend Cleo had not been present, the mattress would still be stuck in the back staircase.
The snow was light. But we didn’t expect Larry to shovel us out. As I walked down the front staircase, Larry was shoveling up to the house steps. I poked my head outside (in my PJ’s with unshowered hair) to thank Larry. He was surprised to see me. The Hahn’s thought we were gone. They decided the neighborly thing to do was to shovel us out.
Larry gets a gold star for giving us an unexpected random act of kindness. Throughout Advent, I hope we have been mindful of finding little ways each day to casually be the Holy Spirit’s presence in someone’s life. This is exactly what Larry did for us Saturday morning. And we are very grateful.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the presence of mind to snap a photo of Larry shoveling. Instead, the picture of our Nativity by the carriage house will indicate how much snow we had Friday night/Saturday morning.
It is so true, Lord God, that when we give a little of ourselves, we find life. Thank you for the people who have expressed random acts of kindness to us this Advent. We thank them for their graciousness and kindness. Amen.
Tuesday’s item for Jesus’ birthday box: can of corn
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