Our church is focusing our attention on how to be a good neighbor. We're using Matthew 22 as a point of reference. Jesus said to "love your God" and to "love your neighbor". So, we talked about this last night at some friend's house. We're looking at our "neighbor" as it literally is--the person or family that lives next door to us. We talked about how we can love those people.
It was really hard for me to think about ways I could love my neighbor. Even now... I'm blind to it. I don't know how. We talked about how it's simpler than we think. We also remembered good neighbors in our past. I remembered Tony.
Tony was a man that lived next to us in Santa Fe when I was growing up. Tony was old. I think he was in his 90s. He was born at the end of the 19th century, which I thought was really cool. He sat on a bench, that I think he made, outside of his front door. He sat there in the evening. Summer evenings in Santa Fe are pretty awesome. And he sat there, on his bench, next to a lilac bush. To this day, my favorite smelling flower is the one on lilac bushes.
He would sit there, and enjoy the evening. When I was outside playing, sometimes I would see Tony sitting. I would get excited and run over to him. I would say, "hi, Tony". When he heard my voice, he would get a really big smile. I was curious. I wondered why his eyes were gray. I wondered why he couldn't see. He would tell me what Santa Fe was like when he was young. I liked to visit Tony.
I think Tony loved his neighbors. I think he sat next to his front door because he hoped someone would come by and talk to him.
I think I can try to be more like Tony. Albuquerque isn't a friendly city. Or, maybe I'm not a friendly person.
We talked about how our city could change if we knew our neighbors. If we really cared about them.