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Loving Neighbors: Even on Vacation?

August 15, 2009

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” –Galatians 5:14

Do I have to love my neighbor on vacation? Technically, she/he’s not my real neighbor.

Taking vacation on a small lake in Michigan means cottages close together. Thin cottages. Or rather, walls that are thin. The kind of thin that allows you to hear sweet sounds of summer as you fall asleep. Birds chirping and water lapping upon the shore. What’s not poetic? The chainsaw. At 8:00 a.m..

Now, I ask, is that neighborly? Construction work before the sun has warmed the dock? And what about barking dogs? Or screaming kids splashing in the lake? Oh right, those are mine.

It does take an extra stretch to be kind sometimes. Like when tourists drive backwards down the “off” ramp. Or when a wave runner comes deathly close to your swimming 7-year-old. Love may be hard to muster when you wait in line for an hour at Dairy Queen. Then again, it’s not so hard. Just watch your kids trying to decide between a double chocolate-coated cone with sprinkles or a Butterfinger Blizzard. Big choices. Big love.

I guess I can tolerate the chain saw. Maybe it’s my guilt. The fireworks we brought were a little loud. Vacation is all that. It’s ice-cream and laughter. Swimming and s’mores. It can even be a hammer next door.

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