CJ and I have been living in this particular house since the middle of January now. Slowly we have been meeting the neighbors around us.
Back when we got our big 2 inches of snow, we met a couple families and their kids in our backyard. We had a good time of sledding and attempting to make some snowballs. As the kids enjoyed their moment of winter, I took the opportunity to get to know the neighbors.
It wasn't too long before I began hearing the "skinny" on all who lived around us. It didn't matter if I had asked or didn't, I was going to hear. Of course, the biggest "talk" of the neighborhood, was the neighbors who lived directly next to us.
We had seen them around once in awhile. Two guys, one with long black hair. Piercings and tattoos covered his body. The neighbors talked about the music they played, saying, "they call it music."
Recently, CJ was mowing our front lawn (which is all of 4 feet long and wide) and decided that he would continue on and mow our neighbors lawn too. It was something he was used to doing back in our old house. Yes, it is a sacrifice, but honestly it wasn't something he had thought alot about or even prayed about for that matter. He just did it to be kind.
He did talk to the neighbor one time, real quick. Even got a quick wave from him. But that was the extent of our meetings.
About two weeks ago there was a knock on our door. I stood there with kids running around my feet looking at the man standing before me. It was our neighbor from next door. Let's call him, Rock On!
Rock On asked for CJ and when he found out he wasn't home, he began to talk to me. The whole time he held a bible behind his back. He told me that none of the neighbors on the street had ever really talked to him. He figured it was because of all of his tattoos and piercings. He explained that he really appreciated the fact that my husband had gone out of his way to talk to him and even mow his lawn. Then he said that maybe CJ would like to come over sometime for coffee, or even our whole family for dinner???
It took me a bit to take everything in. But I told him that I would send CJ over sometime soon and that I was so glad to meet him.
CJ did go over one morning and sat with the man for 2 hours talking about everything and anything. Then tonight, Rock On, stopped at our house with a bag full of stale cookies and directions on how to feed the resident squirrels and birds. He thought the kids might have fun. We offered him dinner and he pulled up a chair and ate with us.
Rock On is a gentle man, with a history of hurts. As I sat there and listened to the stories of his life, it was evident that he is searching for real authentic love.
He wanted to light a cigarette, so we went to the porch. As Rock On puffed away, I watched as evening walkers would pass by, first looking at us and then at him. Judgement would flash over their faces as they looked at Rock On. It was so clear....
I am not perfect. Infact, I have judged, mostly out of fear, many people. But tonight my heart was stirred. Rock On deserves Him just as much as the rest of the world does. Tattoos, piercings, sorted stories and all! He needs Jesus, the One that will truly satisfy his soul.