Today I was looking at my lawn and noticed the grass is getting high. When I was a single mom, sometimes my grass would get really high. Either the mower was broken or I just did not have the time to get to it.I had these neighbors that could not stand to see my grass so tall. They would take it upon themselves to come over and do a little lawn maintenance. I finally confronted them, after they mowed over a new tree I had planted, and asked them to please just check with me before they mowed my lawn.
But they still wouldn’t, sometimes they would even have the neighbor come over and mow my lawn. He had one of those really big industrial mowers. I would watch them out the window. Marveling at the lack of respect they were showing me. I was just amazed that these people thought it was ok to manage something that was not their responsibility. The grass never got that high anyway.
They would also come over and trim my bushes, they trimmed one of my hollies and ended up killing it. When I discovered the trimmings, I asked one of his children if his dad had trimmed my bushes, cause I noticed that their bushes had been trimmed the same day. The man came out and began to yell at me, saying if I had a question then I should ask him, not his children. Seems to me he understood that his kids were his responsibility, but yet…he could not see how my yard was NOT his responsiblity.
The final straw was when I looked out the window and saw the man taking a weed whacker to my favorite tree, a weeping cherry. The tree was beautiful, very valuable and special to me, but I guess the branches got in his way. Needless to say, it developed blight and ended up dying.
When I looked at my lawn today, at the height of the grass, I just chuckled. I remembered those days when the neighbors were so concerned about my lawn, but their yard was always such a mess. Even now, they have bags of mulch laying out right in the front yard, that have been sitting there for over a year. But yet, the man mowed part of my front lawn just recently. Their front yard is on a slope and they can’t plant grass, so it is just constantly full of weeds. Plenty of work they could do there, yet, they concerned themselves with my lawn.I suppose it gives them a sense of superiority to come to my yard and “fix” it for me. To discuss it with the neighbors and rally them to come mow my lawn. I guess it provided them with a sense of pride to know they conquered my tall grass or trimmed my tree with a weed whacker without my permission. I am not sure why they did it, why they think it is ok to violate my boundaries, but I am pretty sure it wasn’t done out of love for me or care for my yard.
Lord, help us to remember to deal with our own garden before we try to mow someone else’s yard, especially when we have our own weed patches to conquer. Lord, give us eyes to see the motivations of our heart and the meditations of our mind. Let us love one another by dealing with our own responsibilities first. There is always work to do in the Garden.
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. Matthew 7:1-5 (MSG)