Keeping the neighborhood clean

Some of my neighbors seem to know everything about everyone. Sometimes they like to share bits of information with me. I am often confused at whether the information they share with me should be placed in the “gossip column” or the “being better informed column.”

It doesn’t really matter to me what Mr. Smith had for dinner last night. (Unless of course there were capers on it…then I might want to know 😉 ) Capers Rock!

I tend to want to live by the rule of…just work on cleaning up your side of the street and keep your nose out of other peoples lives. Don’t get me wrong, I think there are constructive ways to help others if you plan on investing in a relationship with them BUT if you just want to nitpick their ways of doing things than just butt out! It’s none of your business. If they are way off track and we don’t have a vested interest in the problem or the solution then it is our job to pray…not judge.

Awhile back I was given some information about an individual in my neighborhood. Apparently, he is the local neighborhood drug dealer. The rumor is that when he has items (like furniture) out in his yard for sale that this is an indication that it is time to stop by…and buy. If you know what I mean. Is that gossip? Or does that fall in the category of being “better informed”?

I would tend to put this in the category of “being on guard.” It’s not just my job to clean my side of the street but to protect my side of the street too. As a parent, I have a strong desire to protect my family. I really don’t know if this rumor is true, but it does tend to put me on guard.

The “drug dealer” has been nothing but polite to me. I have never met him personally but when I am out for a run and he happens to be in his yard or in his car driving by me, his hand always goes up and waves. And, I always wave back. Yesterday on the way to church, I saw him out taking a walk. You know what he was doing? He was picking up trash on his side of the street. He had one of those trash picker-uppers and was cleaning his side of the street.

I’m not sure why I found this funny but I did. The rumored neighborhood drug dealer was keeping his neighborhood clean. How odd.

I really am not sure what the lesson is to this post. I just know that when I saw this man cleaning up his neighborhood, I felt compelled to pray for him…just in case he really is a drug dealer.

6 thoughts on “Keeping the neighborhood clean

  1. Kelli

    A great reminder to not judge others…especially before knowing all the facts. Folks in my neighborhood like to gossip sometimes too. I think they need a hobby or something! Ill remember that boy in my prayers too. Isn't it wonderful when God places His burdens on our hearts…to pray for others? I love that…and I love capers too!!:)

  2. Jenifer

    Eileen this is a good post. I do not like gossip. Like you said, I don't need to know everything about everyone. But things like this, I see as a prayer opportunity. Now everytime he waves at you, you ca lift up a prayer for him. Everytime you see someone stop at his house, you can lift up a prayer for them. And you can also pray that if the informant was wrong, God will show them. As much as I dislike gossip, I need to protect my family and I desire to pray for others.

  3. Kandi

    I have neighbors like that, they live two houses up and certain people in the neighborhood like to "better inform" me of the goings on in that house. They have always been very pleasant to me, when I see them outside I always stop to talk and play with their dog for a bit, and they do take relatively good care of their house. My take on it, I have lived next to them for 9 years, I have never had a problem with them, I am pretty sure they aren't Christians, but since I am, I am to let my light shine before men, I am to not judge but to love, because God loves us, and He loves them.

  4. Lisa

    What a good reminder. Instead of gossiping or wondering about our neighbors, we should pray for them. I'm going to start doing that.

  5. Allison

    Oh gossip…how well acquainted we are! There is usually just enough truth mixed in for it to be believable. You never know. I've known one 'drug dealer' in my life (in college) and he was the nicest guy you'd ever meet.

  6. Phather Phil Malmstrom

    Great post Eileen.

    Our neighborhood is full of this type of thing I'm afraid. When we first moved into the neighborhood, it was in the middle of winter and there was a foot of snow on the ground. Our things were brought in and the first time we came to the house there was a bevy of footprints leading around the house and stopping at the foot of each window. Over the next few months, we heard little bits of information about the contents of our house from a number of neighbors who hadn't even been inside.

    Yeah… Praying for them works for me too. 🙂

    Have a Blessed Day!


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