The lady next door gave the boot to her boyfriend and he now lives a house down; she wants me to meet the new boyfriend. A couple on the other side of us are trying to have a baby. The two kids they already have are living elsewhere; state mandated. There is a little boy, about five or so, who ever since coming to VBS at Imago earlier this month runs up to me and hugs me every time he sees me. We heard a gunshot in the street and then the screeching of tires a few nights ago. Last week I watched a couple argue and an angry woman storm off down the street pulling one of her kids by the arm. One of the neighbor boys (who is about eleven or so) recently sprayed my kids and our dogs with his hose. One of the neighbors was in jail a few weeks ago for yet another DUI. There is a younger couple across the street with two kids; they come and go quickly and quietly. We haven’t gotten to know them yet; they seem “out of place.” One of the neighbors knocked on the door to borrow one piece of chicken to make her boyfriend a birthday dinner; they had run out of food stamps for the month. One of the neighbors knocked on the door to ask if she could borrow five bucks. I’m pretty sure that some of the kids from across the street get locked out sometimes. There is a man who digs through the trash cans in the alley. A lady and her son were evicted late one night and moved in with some of the neighbors sometime between 1:00 AM and 2:00 AM. A guy in the building next door asked if we would keep an eye out for anyone stealing from his place because his keys were stolen. While tucking our kids into bed, some of the kids next door are outside playing and have yet to eat dinner. Most of our neighbors are unemployed.
I often think about how I was once one of our neighbors, and not that we are perfect by any means, but there is one thing that sets us apart, and His name is Jesus; and He is the one who delivers us and who gives hope… even here in the hood.