Who Will You Love Today? (That You Didn’t Love Yesterday)
This weekend (and the next) I have neighbors. I don’t love my neighbors. In fact, I hate my neighbors.
And I know, I know what Jesus said about loving my neighbors:
“You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind.” (Deuteronomy 6:5). “This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Leviticus 19:18).
But surely he didn’t mean I had to love these neighbors.
Neighbors that camp in my backyard all weekend long. Bringing their dogs and game birds. Creating noise and restricting my dogs’ activity. Coming early, staying late.
JessieDog hates them too. She has to be walked on a leash (the indignity!) during the testing hours and she must stay on constant alert for intruders for days at a time.
Yesterday, as she was making her way to the edge of their encampment to mark “the line” she doesn’t want the enemy to cross, when five dogs in pack raced around the corner and came straight at her in full roar.
Do you see her grey eyebrows? She is nearly twelve years old. She’s no spring chicken, and she’s certainly no chicken. She lowered her head, raised her hackles and dove into the middle of the pack, scattering them in all directions.
While JesseDog was throwing her weight around, Buddy the WonderDog ran to me to tell me what was happening — well, that’s his side of the story, anyway, and he’s sticking to it.
No one was hurt. The visitors were told that this is not a dog park, this is my backyard, protected by my dogs and it is theirs to defend. All 135 acres of it.
So here I am, today, struggling to find love for a people that I do not love.