Follow-up to ‘Keeping My Distance’
In my imagination – my neighbour –
a) had possibly fallen again – and she was unable to get up!
b) was in so much pain, that she was not even able to get out of bed!
c) couldn’t reach the telephone to call for help!
d) didn’t want anyone ‘bothering’ her, so chose to not answer the door!
e) was preferring to dismiss my telephone message, inquiring ‘if she was OK’!
On and on the images played……………………………………
It was somewhat discomforting for me; ‘just not hearing from or seeing’ her out and about. I knew that she relished her independence and did not like anyone prying into her life, and so I was reticent in taking any more ‘steps into her space’ – I didn’t want to be considered a nosey neighbour or a nuisance, after all, we barely knew each other and I did not want to jeopardize our new ‘relationship’.
As the next few days passed – I couldn’t get rid of an inner nagging feeling, that I should make one more attempt to check on her – after all, the last time I had talked with her had been through the previous week, now it was Tuesday! One hears so many reports of a single person having an accident indoors but was not found in time to get medical, or other, assistance – ‘if only we’d found her/him sooner, we might have saved her/him’, is often heard when a hapless victim is discovered by a chance visitor. I decided to risk being considered intrusive – I would deal with the consequences, after the fact and not let it stop me: I did not want to find out in later days that if I had only persevered, it could have made a huge difference, to her well-being.
‘Biting the bullet’ that Tuesday evening, I decided to take a chance on perhaps, being considered a nosey-neighbour; so over I go, armed with a small posy of sweet peas gathered from my garden! Who could resist fresh flowers?
I rang her doorbell and she appeared: I thrust the flowers forward and said, ‘Please forgive me if I’m being a nuisance – I just had to make sure all was well with you’.
She invited me in – thanked me for the flowers – then proceeded to ask if I had ‘phoned her the previous weekend? I told her I’d visited during the day on Saturday, and on not getting a response had gone home and, yes, I had telephoned her, leaving a message to say that ‘I was just making sure she was alright – I didn’t want to be a pesky nuisance – just needed to know she was well and to let me know, if she needed anything’.
She laughed (kindly) and said, ‘Oh, thank you for caring so much, but my neighbours across the road invited me out for the day then took me out for supper, and I couldn’t understand the message, because the voice was so soft – I couldn’t identify who it was!
Well, praise You Lord, for Your Grace! My ‘dark imaginings’ were just that: dark imaginings! In my mind, dreadful scenarios were being played out, when in actual fact everything was really very rosy! My neighbour is practically ‘bouncing around’, because the discomfort she was experiencing is now gone! Well, waddya know – and I was wasting my time and mental energy ‘seeing’ her trying to deal various other accidents indoors, when she wasn’t even at home – she was ‘getting on with her life, very nicely thank you’- which is what I should have been doing too!
Life’s like that, don’t you find? We can spend so much time, thinking about what ‘might be’ and do so much thinking about something that we bring ourselves to a ‘full stop’ – which renders us completely useless, personally and to everyone around us. Our mind likes to occupy us in the negative, and we often allow it to proceed. It stops however, the moment we take action and ‘face up to’ the challenge, and confront it!
Prayer: Abba, Let us not spend time dwelling on things that we can do nothing about, or that we choose to not address with positive action. Let us care enough about others to ‘come alongside’ as needed so we honor You and bring You the glory! We choose to be lights for You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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