God calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves but it can get challenging especially in tight urban environments.
Our home is on a corner so we have close neighbors on one side and behind us. The neighbors to the side have three little white fluffy relentlessly yapping dogs and two very sweet middle school teens who love basketball. My home office is located right next to the outside wall from their house and it can get loud when I am trying to focus and write.
The city will only allow us to build a wall to a certain height which is measured from the base of their property. So building a higher sound proof wall isn’t an option. But that’s life in a city, and most of us have experienced the trials and tribulations of living with so many people in such a tight area.
We just learn to endure.
Paul in Romans 15:1-4 instructs us that “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.’ For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
So I have kept hoping, praying, and trying to be a good neighbor.
We rarely eat outside because of the noise but on a recent holiday weekend my husband was grilling and happened to look over the fence as he waited for the meat to finish cooking. I was in the house preparing the rest of the meal when my husband came racing through the kitchen and out the front door like a rocket and then came running back without explanation. He ran back outside and climbed over the concrete block wall with me at his heels trying to figure out what was going on. He ran over to the pool, reached into the deep end and grabbed one of the dogs, now completely submerged under the water, and pulled it out before it drowned.
We later learned through an exchange of text messages, that our neighbors had taken their boys to, believe it or not, a dog movie which is why they weren’t at home. Needless to say they were very grateful for my husbands’ actions to save their dog.
But I have to say, that my husband and I had a momentary chuckle that we had missed our chance to reduce the noise level by at least one dog! In truth, we have always been dog people and were glad that we were able to assist in saving the dog’s life. The neighbors came over to thank us profusely and the boys even wrote my husband a very nice thank-you card. What’s been particularly interesting since this happen though is that the dogs have been remarkably quiet and the balls haven’t started so early in the morning.
God really does answer prayers in some of the most mysterious ways.