LET’S SAY I HAVE A FRIEND.
This is a hypothetical, of course. Not that I have a friend, but the story that’s about to follow.
Let’s say this person is a very good friend. Yeah, let’s call him that: VGF.
He has this neighbor who has a little boy who throws gravel at VGF’s dog.
The neighbor also has a dry-rotted picket fence with nails sticking out.
VGF has tried nailing the boards back. But it’s like trying to nail two sponges together. So he has used bailing wire on some slats.
What to do. Since the neighbor has done squat.
The dog is in danger of getting hurt by the boy.
The boy is in danger of getting hurt by the dog.
If this dog gets worked up enough, that balsa wood fence won’t stop him.
VGF asked the homeowners association if he could build a privacy fence between the yards.
Parallel fences not allowed.
Their recommendation: Go talk to the neighbor and work something out.
VGF talked to the neighbors this week, in this hypothetical story.
VGF offered to help tear down the part of the rotten fence on the adjoining property and take it to their curb where the city would carry it away.
Then he offered one of two value-added options. He would:
- Build the new fence on the neighbor’s property and cover half the cost.
- Build the new fence on his property and pay all the cost.
The neighbors knew he was coming and baked a contract.
Their offer: VGF do everything.
Tear down the fence by himself because the neighbors were too busy. Haul off the dry rot by himself, for the same reason. Build the new fence on the neighbor’s property “so as not to disturb the neighborhood fence line.”
VGF said he tried not to gag.
Let’s say, hypothetically, VGF took this contract to the head of the architectural team on the homeowner’s association.
And what if the official laughed and asked if the neighbor wanted VGF to mow his yard, too.
Every Monday, I answer a reader’s question about the Bible.
What would Jesus do with a neighbor like this?
And don’t tell me he’d pull money out of a fish’s mouth and head off to Home Depot.
In advance, VGF hypothetically said to thank you for the wise council that he knows is coming, since only thinking people read Stephen M. Miller books.
VGF said that if he truly existed on this timeline and in this dimension, he would certainly hold his response to the neighbor until said advice is said.
I would fix and repair the fence myself. I wouldn’t say another word about it or hold a grudge against the neighbor. We never know what the finances are of the neighbor and maybe he just doesn’t want to come out and say I cant afford it. I would also build the fence on the property line.
VGF should pray for patience and the strength to forgive. Then VGF should tear it down, haul it away, and build it new. The cost of time and money might be a pain in the patoot, but the ROI of sanity and peace of mind is worth it.
Interesting, though, that the homeowner’s associate has a policy on no parallel fences, but they DO allow a jacked up weathered fence that is falling apart and is likely an eyesore?
I am struggling to see any teaching of Jesus that directly applies to a situation like this. This situation is a case of simple neighborly relations, and so, Jesus might respond with, “who has made me judge between you two?’ or “How do you read the Law?”
You see, we don’t know how Jesus was a neighbor to the people who lived next door in Nazareth. The only “neighborly” thing we ever saw Jesus do was to help out a local couple in a bind by changing water into wine. But, really, that was a sign of his messianic mission, and perhaps doesn’t fit with WWJD. Because, honestly, WWJD is really all about asking the question “What Should I Do?”
Stephen M. Miller
What about the principle that Jesus gave about what to do if someone asks you to walk a mile? He said walk two miles. Taking that literally, VGF would rebuild not only the adjoining part of the dilapidated fence. He’d rebuild the whole dang thing for the not-so-neighborly neighbor…if he could find enough fish with coins in their mouths.
Gary Lee Parker
Jesus would probably fo ahead and build it and if the neighbor who called him VGF, he would assist the VGF with the cost and the labor. Personally, I would go ahead and buld a similar fence on my property and go from there and Thank God for the opportunity to replace by rotting fence.