Unlikely neighbors…

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Last week, I snapped this shot of our dear friend and UPS driver. Yes, I just said our UPS driver is our dear friend. She is Navajo and drives two hours just to pick up her truck each morning. She drives the “Rez route” and often doesn’t get to our house until well after 10 p.m. She knows EVERY person she delivers to by name. And-she knows their children. Clearly, she knows their pups as well.

This moment, the moment I took the photo, there was something so peaceful in my home.

Something I’ve found and continue to find is that the Navajo are such a peaceful people. They are hard working, stronger than most and are resilient. They are determined and kind all at the same time. This lady is no different. She snuggles our sweet pup each time she delivers. Mesa meets her at the door and growls and whines until she holds him. I read somewhere once that dogs are good judges of character. I call it discernment. If my littles and my dog aren’t keen on you, it’s probably something I should look into…not this one though. She’s a good egg.

Most nights when she delivers we share a coke or a bottle of water (since the temps are rising), sometimes I send her a snack for the road…and we get to have some conversation with her.

What’s the big deal behind this, you might ask?

Jesus has taught me a lesson through our friend. When he said love your neighbor as yourself-he didn’t just mean those that look like you, talk like you, live the same lifestyle as you. He meant EVERY neighbor. I have heard it over and over my entire life. It starts to have a different meaning, though, when none of your neighbors look, think, walk or talk like you. When you become the outsider, loving your neighbor looks different.

When you are learning a new culture, loving your neighbor sometimes means eating things you’ve never eaten before and getting to know your UPS driver on a first name basis. It means inviting her in for a coke at 10 at night and waiting up on her because you know she’s had a long day of deliveries and your Prime Pantry box is heavy. It’s realizing that you’re the next to last stop on her route and you ordered four new off road tires for your vehicle and they’re coming on her truck. It’s having her phone number programmed in your phone because when she misses a day or two and she didn’t let you know, you want to check on her.
It’s looking into the faces of beautiful brown children when they come to the door and ask if your kids can come play. It’s looking into those same faces and seeing all the wonderful things they could become. It’s listening to them laugh because they think the way you speak is funny and no one has ever called them “pumpkin”. It’s having dinner at your house and knowing your table isn’t big enough so you borrow a folding table and make a table cloth out of butcher paper.

It means growing your faith in humanity. It means growing your faith in Jesus. It means looking out at this great, vast desert and seeing the beauty of it all.

It means letting the UPS lady snuggle your dog and offering her a moment to rest her feet….because in return, you get a beautiful, new friend and a little slice of Heaven’s peace in your home.

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