People who ring the door bell
When our Ring doorbell camera tells us that someone is at the door, I often brace myself. The odds that I will be met by a request for money is quite high, and sometimes it’s hard to decide how to handle it. Heading toward the door has been the occasion of some of my most desperate prayers for wisdom.
People who don’t ring the door bell
The other day, I asked my niece Mya if she got the mail I had sent her. She had not.
The day I sent Mya’s package, I had sent two other small packages to two other children. They were not valuable – just candy and Bible verse cards to color and a few little things like that. But I did really want them to all arrive to their destination.
I checked my postal service tracking. Sure enough, they had not gotten to their destination. In fact, it was not clear to me from the data if they had even been picked up by the postman.
Marnell and I went back to our Ring camera for that day. We had already looked at the camera for that day, because it was the day that the shooters came down our street shooting vehicles. We were pretty sure we had seen the packages being picked up from the mailbox by a tall man. But what we hadn’t noticed was the arrival of the REAL mail carrier half an hour later. The tall man who so smoothly picked up the packages was a thief.
Seriously, I seethed. You just come up on our porch and take the children’s mail? We had both been at home when it happened, since it was a Saturday.
We showed the footage of the thief to a neighbor. He thought the thief was the same man as the shooter. Marnell showed the picture of the thief to another neighbor. THAT neighbor said that the first neighbor was so drunk when he saw the shooter that he could not possibly be considered reliable.
Love us or hate us, this is Brady Street.
But, lest you get depressed, read on.
Brady Street has another side, too.
The other day, Marnell and I were sweating away in our front lawn. We had decided to put stones in a hard-to-mow spot with a broken curb. We thought it was a great idea, until we started digging.
You know, there just isn’t anything quite as miserable as shoveling dirt, is there? Also, we saw that the slope of the land was simply too steep to expect rocks to magically resist washing away.
Well, our neighbors came and went, and we noticed our neighbor Ruben watching us as if he was about to say something. They were on their way somewhere though. Also, he doesn’t speak English well.
However, the next day, Saturday, our doorbell rang.
It was Ruben and his wife Blanca, both friends of ours.
“Ruben is wondering if you need help with your landscaping,” Blanca asked. “He used to work at a landscaping job before he started in construction.”
Now, if you don’t recognize how much of a blessing that was, you probably haven’t shoveled much sod!
Tuesday night he came over to work on it. We left for prayer meeting, and Ruben continued working. When we came back from prayer meeting, he was still there. He had leveled out the ground and lined up the retaining bricks. He had even cut one with a hammer to fit in a small place. The next night he came, we also had to leave. We came home to find the wall finished and the beds waiting for stones.
You don’t have to speak perfect English to do good landscaping.
Love us or hate us, this too is Brady Street.
Ruben’s wife Blanca, a good friend of ours, will be the first person to share her story on Voices of Survival podcast, which officially launches Monday. Listen to this excerpt of her talking on the first episode along with some banter with Marnell and I and our neighbor Chris! See you Monday!