Dan, are you and Hannah home? And if so, could I stop by and have a few minutes?
That’s unusual. We can go weeks without dealing with our neighbor who wrote this text. Wondering if anything is wrong, I respond, We are in Pennsylvania. Be home manana. Once home, we don’t hear from him and I pretty much forget about it.
Then, on Easter morning I get the exact same text. Though Hannah and I are just heading for a mid-day walk at the Ogunquit (Maine) beach, I text back, Now is a good time.
Our neighbor is the classic good guy. When we needed a hide-a-bed sofa removed from an upstairs room, he and his son come right over and moved it for us. He always greets us warmly when Hannah and I walk the neighborhood. He is a devout Christian who truly lives his faith.
Waiting on our driveway, we see him approach. He says, How are you? I mention that we are just back from seeing our grandson in New York. He smiles, and then breaks down in tears. Whoa!
Hannah and I both step forward and give him a group hug; he cries and doesn’t say anything. Hannah wonders if someone died. I wonder is he getting a divorce. Does a child or grandchild have cancer?
Composing himself, he says, I think you know how much my faith means to me. I try to be a good neighbor. It’s been on my heart that I’ve wanted to say this to you. We continue to hug and listen and wonder. He pauses, head down, composing himself.
He looks up and continues with a smile, I think you know we come from different political perspectives. I should say so.
So, is this about the rainbow flag we have flying on the busy road in front of our house. Does he want us to take it down? My mind races further thinking that that’s going to be a problem. Our rainbow flag is a symbol of our support for our LGBT sisters and brothers, who are our friends and yes, in our family.
Composing himself again, he says, You two were there when I needed you last fall. I want you to know how much that meant to me. While he was recovering, we brought soup and biscuits to his family; sat with him as we listened to his story of how it all happened. While he was recuperating, we gave him bread.
We continue to hug, and then he relaxes and seems at peace. I just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me. We smile at each other as he says, You know, I’m there if you need me. As he always has.
And then as soon as he came, he’s gone – walking back down our driveway.
I look to Hannah and say to her, we’ve just seen the face of God. This is what Rev Rich Knight meant when he said, When you see acts of kindness and acts of love, (similar to what our neighbor just delivered to us), you see the face of God.
So glad we were home when God walked down our driveway this Easter morning.