Window Yellers & Ladder Holders

Posted: May 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

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I was a kindergartener, walking to school on a spring day with my cousin Julie. On a corner, there was a landscaping rock with plants growing out of it. I had never seen anything like it before, so Julie and I stopped and bent over to look at the leaves. Immediately the owner of the property threw open her front door, stuck her head out the door and shouted, “If you kids touch that, I’m gonna call the police!” As a shy, sensitive 6-year-old, I started crying and ran away.  I felt like a criminal for being a curious kid who was simply looking at her rock. I always resented that the woman didn’t even ask or try to understand what we might be doing, before she jumped to judgment and accusation.

I see interesting things from my office window. It overlooks the church parking lot, dumpsters, and the garage. People constantly walk and drive through the parking lot. I overhear strange conversations and see some things I’d rather not see – heated arguments, littering, kids treating church property like toys, and worse. Seeing some not-so-nice things happen out my window has made me overly vigilant.

Since we’ve got a basketball hoop on the garage, neighbor kids often play basketball outside my window. Yesterday, a couple kids came to play basketball.  But soon, the boy started to try to climb on the dumpster, then tried climbing the doorframes of the garage. I watched for a minute and got angry. I get tired of people disrespecting other people’s property. I opened my window to yell at him. But in a split second, I was brought back to that spring day years ago. That woman hadn’t asked what I was doing. She hadn’t put herself in my little shoes to wonder what was going through my head. She just decided I was a bad kid and yelled. And that’s what I was about to do. But before I could open my mouth, I watched the boy pull something white out of his pocket. He had brought a net for our bare basketball hoop. He wasn’t trying to damage our property.  He was simply trying to find a way to hang the net, to enhance our property for others to use. So after I smiled to myself, I walked outside and said, “Hey! Need a ladder?” The boy jumped in surprise, then smiled back, and said, “Yeah!” As I held the ladder and he climbed to the top, I was thankful that I was able to be a part of hanging the net, rather than just shouting out the window. It’s a small thing, but the whole experience reminded me that when we take time to understand others with compassion, we may become inspired by people who we never expected to meet, and we, in turn, may become blessings to others.

Pastor Jennifer

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