I live out in the country, way out: but that doesn’t mean I have no neighbors. I think Jesus made it perfectly clear, but I am not the one to judge. I have issues, too. Just recently? I was doing a bit of ruminating about my sin, and I came to the horrifying conclusion that all of my friends are “beautiful” people. I am actually a bit surprised at my prejudice, as I assumed that I had a big heart, for all people. I do, however it seems to me it’s a whole lot easier to love attractive people. I am deeply shamed by this, and will work on it ASAP.
About five years ago, I found myself embedded in a screaming match with my neighbor, Jeanne. I stopped walking my dog around our neighborhood after this incident, and I have her to thank. Jeanne and her family had recently moved to our tiny burb, and I never would have known if not for her dog, Cujo; who promptly scared the life force out of my golden retriever. After calling for immediate restraint, I heard this:
“Oh, for crying out loud, it’s just a German Shepherd,” came her response, loud and clear. You don’t know me, or how I get when people get in my face. I am a Gemini, through and through. I am simultaneously the nicest and meanest person you will ever meet-just depends on what you’re dishing out on that particular day.
Years later, I am standing with Jeanne. Who, indeed, proved to be a horse’s ass. But this particular day, back in February, she caught me while hunting sheds, in the field below her farm. We took up talking and I told her I was going through a bout of Lyme. She, in turn, told me to come up to the house, to hear about Essential Oils!!! I must have been gravely ill, because I actually went, thinking that she was trying to help me. What. On. Earth. Was I thinking?
Anyway, the neighbor who lives in between myself and Jeanne, is a 90 year old, Pennsylvania Dutch, busy body extraordinaire. She knows all of the gossip in the neighborhood. We don’t get involved, ever. So, I haven’t been close to Ruth in years, as I knew she wasn’t fond of me. How did I know this? I have it on good authority, it came from the horse’s mouth. Apparently, Ruth said this to my in laws:
“You can say a lot of things about Michele, but she sure does take good care of her animals.”
So, there’s that. And a whole bunch of other stuff I have already flushed down the commode.
Here’s the thang: we cannot wrap ourselves up in others’ perceptions of us. Ninety percent of the time? They are going on gossip, unearned reputations-not the Holy Spirit or the love of Jesus in their hearts.
So, I would like to wrap this up by saying this to anyone and everyone who delights in being in my bizness:
You people are the human version of menstrual cramps.