Thursday, February 3, 2011

Getting to know the neighbors

The Georgian people are very hospitable. In my book my girl character learns from their generosity how to bravely reach out to people, which is something I seriously need to learn how to do myself.

Yesterday I was shoveling the eight or more inches of snow so we could get to the alley where the trash can sits. Our neighbor (who has a garage) was out there shoveling so he could get his car out. I've always been nervous around his family because for one thing, they both drink and smoke and have gotten in trouble with the police quite a few times. No one would wonder why I'm a bit afraid of them. The mother says really strange things (or so I hear) and I'm curious if she's mentally sane. I feel guilty because I need to be open to anyone and not reserve the gospel for only the 'right' people. These people need it more than anyone. It's just so hard to get involved and to worry about getting in a situation where you can't get uninvolved.

As we were shoveling away, not speaking, nor even acknowledging each other, someone went down the street in an ATV or four wheeler. The guy was going quite fast, and looked like he was enjoying himself. I instinctively smiled and turned toward the neighbor, like people do when they want to share a joke with someone. The neighbor was smiling too.

I feel like I've had a slight breakthrough; a chance to see the humanity in others and it melted away my fear. Maybe he wasn't really a pothead or a drunk. Maybe he wasn't so bad. Maybe somewhere in there is the jewel Jesus died for that I should love.

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