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Archive for February, 2010

Dear Readers,

The other day I was waiting in  line at the very crowded deli counter.  A young woman in front of me turned around and smiled.  I remarked that there was quite a long line of customers.  She answered yes but quickly added that it was worth the wait – good cold cuts for a reasonable price.  I readily agreed.  We went on to talk abut the recent rain storms and the large amount of snow it dumped on the surrounding mountain tops.  She mentioned that she reminded her son what a blessing these storms were because snow on the mountain meant more water for the Coachella Valley.  After having been waited on and as she turned to leave, she glanced back at me, smiled and told me to have a great day.

Now fast forward to three days later.  It was at the end of the day at our new condo.  The demolition team had just left, carrying the remains of the tile floor they had removed.  I looked up at our new neighbor across the street.  He was standing on his upstairs deck, arms folded and glaring down at me.  I said hello and asked if there was a problem.  He curtly replied that the workers had blocked his garage door and he couldn’t get out.  After apologizing for the inconvenience, I suggested that if he had requested the workers to move their truck, they would have complied immediately.  He just stared at me, turned around and walked through the door.  I thought, oh boy, what a way to meet a new neighbor!

Then I thought about these two different encounters.  The woman at the deli was so positive; her remarks energized me.  The negative neighbor made me feel deflated and very sad.

Then I wondered why human beings are so different.  I decided God put these people in my life to teach me a lesson.  Being nice to each other, even if we are strangers, uplifts us.  And in the case of the grumpy neighbor, God’s commandment to “love our neighbor as ourselves” is not as easy to follow as it may seem.  I can see I will probably struggle with that commandment for a while!

Keep smilin’!

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