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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hospitality (02/07/05)

TITLE: Do Unto Others
By Mitzi Busby


The winds blew and lightening flashed as rain poured down. It was just another summer rain storm. We woke the next morning to find a huge elm tree down in our front yard, blocking the street in front of our house. The county road crews helped with the clean up, some. They told us the tree would be removed when we returned from work that day. The crews battle ninety degree heat to cut the tree out of the road and redeposit it into our yard. My husband worked for two hours with a chain saw trying to get the biggest parts cut into smaller, more manageable pieces, when I arrived home from work and began shredding limbs in a wood chipper. The temperature had reached 100 and we were getting nowhere fast, when I looked up and saw our newest neighbor, Brad, coming up with a chainsaw. My husband was suffering from heat exhaustion by this point and was guzzling water and downing aspirin. Brad did not say anything, just helped cut up the tree and dispose of it until the work was finished. We shook his hand and thanked him, feeling pretty bad that we hadn't even formally welcomed his family to the area.

Not long after this experience, we were able to repay the favor in a small way. Another summer storm left branches in the neighbor's yard. Brad and his family left out on a trip early the next morning and were unable to pick up the wrecked yard. I took a yard wagon and cleared all of the debris from their yard. They returned from the trip to find the yard better than they left it.

A few years earlier, Michelle and Will lived across the street from us. In the house to their right lived Herbert, an elderly retired man who watched out for all of the neighbors, especially Will and Michelle. If the couple's yard needed mowing, Herbert would cut it, even though Will owned a lawn service. Herbert would help decorate their yard at Christmas with lots of holiday lights and cartoon characters. Their yard gave Chevy Chaseís yard a run for its money. It all became a little much for Michelle to take! Herbert had good intentions, but when Michelle came home to find her shrubs "pruned" or mutilated one spring day, sheíd almost had enough. She cried over it, but did not hurt Herbertís feelings since he was like a granddad to her two girls.

Will and Michelle really found out about helping neighbors when their youngest, McKenzie, was diagnosed with a heart condition. McKenzie was ten-months-old and very sick. They had just put their house up for sale, anticipating the completion of their new house, which was being constructed. Their house sold quicker than expected and with mounting medical bills, the couple halted building on their new house. They were looking for inexpensive housing in order to save money for future medical costs. Will and Michelle prayed and trusted God. I mentioned their dilemma to a couple who own a few rental houses. The owners allowed Will and Michelle to use one of their rental houses, free of rent, for nine months until they could get on their feet and get their family well.

That is just the attitude in the South. Neighbors look out for one another and lend a helping hand. Our state is called the "Hospitality State." Jesus said that if we do it unto the least of these, then we have done it unto him. When we give to others, we are giving as unto the Lord. It does not take much effort to reach out a helping hand and show Christís love. The first step is the hardest step to take. We may be the only glimpse of Jesus that someone ever sees. Give them that glimpse of hope and love because it is in us to do so. Just love them.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Cynthia Zirkwitz02/19/05
Excellent pull into your piece-- there is nothing so dramatic as a storm! I appreciated varied examples of hospitality. Good work!