We don’t have central air conditioning, or even off-center air conditioning. So on hot summer nights, we like to be able to leave a window or two open. But for the past several nights that hasn’t been an option.
Our 35-year old next door neighbor is having her annual Canadian long weekend party. Five full days. Four nights. A 24-hour drunken fest, complete with screaming, nighly outdoor bonfires without a permit, loud profanity every ten seconds, and guys urinating in our lilac bushes. All day all night, mostly sitting in her backyard, an area devoid of trees or even a fountain; nothing to commend it whatsoever for an extended stay.
Years ago, I called the police on this family only to realize that they were friends with the police dispatcher and that “they would never do that.” More recently, another neighbor called the cops, and the partiers assumed it was us — we were actually away on holidays — and threw eggs at our house, which then ate away the paint, resulting in a full exterior paint job for which nobody took responsibility.
So, if you believe that turning the other cheek doesn’t exactly apply here, not turning said cheek isn’t going to gain us anything. We are stuck with this situation until late Tuesday, or perhaps even Wednesday morning. (The party began at noon Friday.)
My wife and I haven’t had good luck with neighbors. I once asked God what his overall plan was sticking us next to these people and I clearly heard him say, “If they had anyone else for neighbors, the other neighbors would have killed them by now.”
I believe that God is able to invade their social circle and that one of their number is capable of having a life-change that infects the whole group. I believe that, but I honestly don’t expect it to happen. I believe the Holy Spirit is able to intervene the dark places where these people have crawled out from and bring about repentance. I believe that, but I’m not holding my breath waiting. I believe that God can use us to be His agents of grace to say or do something positive that causes these people to seek healing for the brokenness that causes them to drink to excess for five whole days. I believe that, but I don’t see an opportunity arising; don’t see an open door.
So for a few more nights we will sleep with the windows closed and hopefully the final night, the mix of drunkenness and live fireworks won’t cause some type of rocket to come crashing through our windows and burn the house down.
I do keep praying for some relief this year. I’ll let you know in an update if it happens, and you can join us in praying that it does.
I really need some sleep, and some peace, and some sense that we can experience peaceful enjoyment of our home and property. And I really need to remember that God loves these people and so should I, even when the opposite emotions seems so natural and so appropriate.