What does it mean to be a good neighbor?

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Oh, man. I should’ve known that if I preached three weeks on what it means to be a good neighbor that a test my authenticity might be arranged. The photo above is what I woke up to on Saturday. My neighbor, who is building a new home next door, needed to pump out his flooded basement. So he removed a piece of fence between our yards and piped the water into my backyard… that’s what the photo is, his pipe that emptied his basement into my yard. All I know is that the words popping into my head weren’t learned in seminary.

That pipe has to be chalked up to “bad neighborliness.” The question for me is, “What is my response? What is my responsibility as a neighbor, regardless of his?” Believe me, I thought about tearing the pipe up and throwing it in his yard. I thought about calling County offices. I wondered what exciting things I could pipe from my house over to his.

I’m hoping that may not be exactly what he told his construction crew to do. I don’t know because there wasn’t anyone around yesterday or today to ask. I’ll be watching tomorrow. I did find out that one of the church office assistants told him he could do something, but she didn’t think he was planning to pipe into my backyard. So he probably acted with something he felt was akin to permission.

So, I’ve been cool… no graffiti next door, no hexes or curses on anyone’s holiday shopping. I’m trying to find that happy place, that place and time of contented cool out of which I can express my extreme distaste for that pipe, a sincere hope it will leave and never return, and a real conviction that I will use County authorities to make sure it doesn’t, but only if I am forced to it.

So, here’s hoping…

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