Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)
TITLE: Love Your Neighbor
By beverly gowing
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I got the house looking like our home and started working in the back yard. I picked up trash, rocks and balls. The balls had “Jesus loves you” written on them. The more I picked up, the more upset I got at the people from the church. I could not believe that they were throwing things at my dog.
I quit allowing my dog to go outside unless I was with her when the church had any activity going on. I just waited for someone to say or throw something at my dog. I had no problem telling them to leave my dog alone. Nor did I have any problem with her barking at them.
This went on for a month. I realized that the church wasn’t going to go away. My dog was going to be around for at least another five or ten years. Worse of all, I was acting just like I felt the people from that church was acting.
God said “love your neighbor.” I’m sure he knows that it might not be easy at times. The love had to start somewhere.
I started working with my dog. When she barked, I would get after her. She was getting better about not barking. There were still many times I had to remind her. I would apologize when she did bark. The people from the church seem to accept her more also. Some where even beginning to smile when they looked across and seen us outside.
Church let out one night while we were sitting in the back yard. Our dog ran to the fence and started barking. I started to remind her not to bark, when a man in his late forties or early fifties started barking back at her. In my shock, my vow to love my neighbor went with the wind. The rest of the night, training the dog not to bark was not an option. I had stumbled. However, when the church had another activity, I was back to loving my neighbor.
Our dog doesn’t even run to the fence for the most part now. When she does, I remind her to be quiet. I understand more of what God means when He says “love your neighbor.” My next step is to bake a cake and take it to the church. I will invite my neighbor over for coffee and cake. It has to start somewhere.
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