A Reminder of What America’s Soul And Who Your Neighbor is. (Screwtape frowns)

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Luke 10:25-29

A few months ago the house next door (You know the one Paulo worked so hard on) was bought and a new neighbor moved it. She is a statuesque black woman with three kids from age 9 -18 who was working from home even before the covid stuff took place.

My wife and her hit it off as did we. I liked seeing her boy riding his bike in the neighborhood playing with other kids, we found ourselves talking and chatting all during the summer about the plans for our homes, what going on with our kids etc.

About 5 months ago a Black Lives Matter sign went up in front of her house. I don’t know how familiar she is with the actual origins of the movement but as she moved from the south shore it was not odd to think a person from there would be politically to the left. I didn’t like it but it’s her house and what she puts on her property is her business. I wanted a Trump sign long ago myself but my wife has for years told me no political signs in the yard and that’s not a hill to die on (see tip #15) anyways these days a flag is as good as a Trump sign and frankly any person who knows, reads or googles me knows where I stand as I’m not particular shy about it.

Well Wednesday night the blizzard came, I drove home at midnight from work doing 30 on the highway and was relieved when I saw my wife’s car in the driveway since as a nurse she would have had to do a double if her relief didn’t make it in, The next morning the snow was still falling but all of us had to be to work so we started outside shoveling while my son with the bum leg got out the snow blower. The blower died after two minutes and no amount of tinkering could make it go for more than 10 seconds and there was still a bunch a lot to do and we all needed to leave

Enter our new neighbor. She said bluntly, to DaWife: “Don’t worry about it, do enough to get your cars out and I’ll snowblow the rest.

Sure enough when I got back home after working my to midnight shift everything I didn’t get in the back and all of the fount was snowblowed out which means that I actually have a day off today rather than a day of shoveling before me.

I’ve been very angry about this election, I’m angry about the theft of it (that theft isn’t from Trump it’s from me and 80 million others like me) I’m angry about the openness of said theft and the cowardice of those unwilling to call it out, I’m angry at the courts and the legislatures who have the power to stop it from I’m angry at the thought that I don’t know if my vote when cast actually is being counted for the person I’m voting for and as a Computer Science major, someone familiar with higher level math and as a Sicilian I’m particularly angry at those those who insult my intelligence by pretending or insisting it didn’t happen while the mathematical, statistical and physical evidence is in front of my face.

But I know this much, The Christian charity that my neighbor showed me yesterday demonstrated that while she may have a “Black Lives Matter” sign next to her front door, she decided a pair of old white Trump supporters mattered enough volunteer a hand to help us out in a moment that we needed it.

That is exactly the message of hope that I needed to see and the type that gives a devil like Screwtape fits:

The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary. There is no good at all in inflaming his hatred of Germans if, at the same time, a pernicious habit of charity is growing up between him and his mother, his employer, and the man he meets in the train. 

C.S. Lewis: The Screwtape Letters # 6

Charity to those around you that you actually meet. As as long as I live in a neighborhood, a city and a country where stuff like this takes place (and I suspect it takes place a lot more than people realize) then regardless of how things turn out over the next four years (and how angry it makes it) American at it’s heart and in its soul will be OK.

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