Another Aspect of Loving Your Neighbor–WNIJ

By August 16, 2017Farm

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This whole “love your neighbor” business isn’t as easy as it looks, because it’s easy to hurt people’s feelings — even easier for our feelings to be hurt. I have heard stories of grudges that go back 50 years.

We fired our neighbor from doing our hay. Putting the whole cutting — 600 bales worth — in our barn, or even trying to sell it off the field, has gotten to be too much. As Bruce says, every time we do hay it’s a fiasco. Every time, I remind him, help arrives. This year we found a guy who will do our hay in shares; he gets half and we get half. His guys would put it up.

But we did not tell Kenny we’d changed people. Once it got going, the haying season moved lickety split with one dry week in a rainy summer. I felt awful. He could have said, “Why didn’t you tell me?” and then stopped speaking. But he called Bruce, saying, “If you need help, let me know.”

We ran into him at a local eatery the night we’d finished putting up our share. “It worked out for the best,” he said, “you going with the other guy. We had to drill in our beans and put up our own hay.”

As I’ve thought about loving your neighbor, I think it can mean offering grace and forgiveness when you’ve been hurt.

I’m Katie Andraski, and that’s my perspective.

If you’d like to listen to me read this, click here.

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8 Comments

  • Dean Robertson says:

    Love and grace and forgiveness are in short supply in this world we seem to have created. Words have lost their meaning. “Love” is a perfect example. It is everywhere. It means whatever I want it to mean. If I love everybody, to love–at least in my life–means nothing. I cannot love everyone. If I try, or if I pretend, then I end in loving no one.

    The stories that will redeem us from all this loveless love are the ones like yours that only offer one life for us to consider. And this, you say, perhaps this is love, maybe this is grace.

    I have learned that love is not something I feel. It is something I do. I might not feel forgiving of your hurtful actions but I know how a person who feels forgiving would act. I know what a forgiving person would do. And I can act just that way, I can do those things, and there’s a good chance I will find the grace to love and to forgive.
    Thank you, Katie

    • katiewilda says:

      Thank you. This is so very wise. “And I can act just that way, I can do those things, and there’s a good chance I will find the grace to love and forgive.” Yes that is so true. Now more than ever we need to love our neighbor…

  • charlesburchfield says:

    I’ve got to be honest otherwise things go wonky.

  • Lynn D. Morrissey says:

    What a lovely neighbor. And I’ve been in such a position, and I’ve failed . . . not just going to someone and explaining. This is really food (or hay!) for thought, as the case may be. What does it really mean to love one’s neighbor? And in light of all the horror happening in the world today, I thnk of that question posed to Jesus (meaning to trick him): “Who is my neighbor?” We know what Jesus said. Thanks for sharing, Katie.
    Love
    Lynn

    • katiewilda says:

      Oh Lynn thanks for stopping by. He is a good neighbor. I have wondered this question since I’ve moved here and listened to assorted stories from the past that people have told me. There have been times I’ve failed miserably as a peacemaker. Though we can pray. I hear you on Jesus’ response to who is our neighbor…And in our world our neighbor can be across the world… Love, Katie

  • Judith Lechelt says:

    Your neighbor is a gift. What a wonderful attitude.

    • katiewilda says:

      Yes, he sure is. He tells good stories too and hopes I put them in a story. His parents are beloved to us…

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