©Jeanne E Webster
Each morning our house stares complacently across the road towards our nearest neighbor’s house and front yard. What a sight to behold! You’d think a person would spruce up their front yard, as that is a telltale sign of character. A neat yard equals a neat person, right? A messy yard spells a messy person, no? Well, our neighbor has a messy yard and yet whenever we see him, he looks neat and clean. Go figure!
It is a picker’s delight. The house is on one side of the yard and sitting across from it is a steel shed of sorts. Between the two, lies strewn stuff, all outdated and rusty rustic, bordering on the deaths and remains of a thousand once-useful tools and equipment.
It’s hard to say what catches one’s eye first, the cluttered cluster of assorted crusty lawnmower chunks, worn-out household furniture sticks and antiqued truck bodies. The oxidized bedsprings served to level out driveway gravel. The red blur beside the crunched John Deere tractor hood is the entrails of a 4×4 off-road buggy, last seen galloping off into the fields during deer season a few years ago.
There’s a chicken coop way back in the thick of things too; I hear the rooster crowing on a daily basis. A halfway decent looking black and chrome motorcycle shines out from the tall grass. Before you sight in on the shed door, there squats a dull green rowboat tempting the wind to knock it off its launching pad.
I haven’t decided what one would find if you went further into the jungle there. It’s hard to say; I’ve heard there’s a pond somewhere back there. I don’t know if it’s stocked with fish or not. Anyway, I need to quit funning around here and make my point to this story.
Take this scenic view of my neighbor’s yard for a person’s character, or better yet, a person’s unseen parts, the inner man, and it’ll give you an idea of what God sees in us. I pulled that idea out of my dusty grey matter today while peeking out the front window. Hmm.
We probably have gobs of old parts lying around here and there, needing to be thrown away or cleaned up and made to work again. As Christians, we should let the Holy Spirit do a number on us, a good spring-cleaning. Get rid of that old rusty language we used to cultivate when cutting up at the bowling alley, clean up our road rage antics against our fellow-man (persons), use our baby blues or browns for Bible study instead of the television scrap heap, and become frequent helpers hanging with benevolent societies’ activities rather than our overwhelmed easy chairs.
Now I’ve gone and done it. I noticed it, Lord. Yes, I got your hint. Yes, I’ll look within myself everyday instead of across the street at my neighbor’s front yard. You saw the true view, Father. Now that I think of it, he doesn’t look so bad after all. Thank you, Jesus. I needed that.
1 Corinthians 13: The Way of Love