This whole “love your neighbor” business isn’t as easy as it looks, because it’s easy to hurt people’s feelings -- even easier for our feelings to be hurt. I have heard stories of grudges that go back 50 years.
We fired our neighbor from doing our hay. Putting the whole cutting -- 600 bales worth -- in our barn, or even trying to sell it off the field, has gotten to be too much. As Bruce says, every time we do hay it’s a fiasco. Every time, I remind him, help arrives. This year we found a guy who will do our hay in shares; he gets half and we get half. His guys would put it up.
But we did not tell Kenny we’d changed people. Once it got going, the haying season moved lickety split with one dry week in a rainy summer. I felt awful. He could have said, “Why didn’t you tell me?” and then stopped speaking. But he called Bruce, saying, “If you need help, let me know.”
We ran into him at a local eatery the night we’d finished putting up our share. “It worked out for the best,” he said, “you going with the other guy. We had to drill in our beans and put up our own hay.”
As I’ve thought about loving your neighbor, I think it can mean offering grace and forgiveness when you’ve been hurt.
I’m Katie Andraski, and that’s my perspective.