Shandra Lee. With Heart Wide Open. A Miracle In The Making.

Once again I find myself in one of my favorite spots…Writing . With room service.  In a foreign city.

Ok . Well. Maybe not room service. Perhaps not exactly a foreign city but definitely one that enlightens (and entertains).

Today is designated Know Your  Neighbor Day . An idea I thoroughly embrace and support. Probably you do, too.

The plan? Rub elbows with these neighbors.. 12,000 of your closest friends Eugene, Oregon 12,000 of your closest friends Eugene, Oregon

When I first “met” Beth Moore via simulcast in 2008 I’d never heard of her. She impacted me greatly. Perhaps you as well? A chance to join in the 15 year anniversary was too compelling. Sign me up!

That was the thought.


The morning of, at His prompting, accommodations were made. Online. Sight unseen.

Always be wary when “NO REFUNDS for NO SHOWS or CANCELLATIONS” is in bold print. Pulling up tells why. Truly, the moment you arrive you would immediately cancel. The bars on the office windows? The musty smell ,the sound of sirens, traffic and my neighbors TV.

And her.

Why did this surprise me so?
The literate homeless. Why did this surprise me so?

(Google images* Not really her, but close.)

Right around the corner was a lovely woman, about my age, tucked into the doorway of a long abandoned building. Everything she owned . In a shopping cart. Reading a newspaper. Waiting for the sun to set when she would begin her rotation to stay safe, keep her few possessions and perhaps forget about The Bombings, the stock market, The Pope. Perhaps she’s heard of Neighbor day. Wonder what she thinks about it?

For some reason she stays with me,. The sight of her with her blue tarp, her crackled skin and grimy nails , turning the pages of crisp newsprint. My neighbor.

As I drove back from checking out the Arena , a white van pulled up alongside. He tooted his horn. Internally I rolled my eyes. Looking over, he was grinning ear to ear and holding this~

Indeed, He does.
Indeed, He does.

His sign was hand printed black marker  about 4×6. On the other side ” Just ask Him!” Laughing hard and gesturing back and forth to indicate Jesus loved HIM, too, the photo-op passed as the light changed. I have a feeling he would have loved for his photo to be taken. Long hair, Jesus music blasting through the open window. Tooting his horn once more, he waved and drove on. My neighbor.

On my short cul-de-sac in middle class America, I know only a hand full of my neighbors by name. And only in passing. Do you  know yours?  Isn’t the one common thread is the desire to belong? To be known? Where ever you are friends, be a good neighbor. Look them on the eyes, smile, laugh, connect.

Spending this sunny weekend in other cities rubbing elbows with other ‘neighbors’ and sending a shout out to my next door neighbors Jon and Dawn and “Baby” Cash. To Cheryl down the way. To  Carly and George and your adorable 2. To The Violin Maestros . To all the Newbies that moved to the neighborhood in recent months. Looking forward to our neighborhood July 4th celebration. Where every year after the fireworks one neighbor plays Taps, in remembrance. My neighbors.

Until next time, Love your Neighbor as Yourself…and viceversa, Shandra

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5 Replies to “Who’s Your Neighbor?”

  1. As spring weather makes its appearance in Central Oregon this is a nice reminder to be neighborly, whether out and about or in the yard- look up, look around, make eye contact, smile and wave big 🙂 Maybe I can be part of the moment that changes an attitude, puts hope in a day, offers a listening ear, or simply offers an amusing silent inquiry– “I wonder if she knows she has a smudge of dirt on her face?”

    Happy glorious spring, neighbor!


  2. So true Diane and Holly. Everyone is our neighbor , desiring to some degree acceptance and connection. A smile, a wave , a sign that they are known and that Jesus Loves them. Thanks for stopping by! Shandra


  3. I love this, Shandra! It’s not always easy to “reach” out to your neighbor but we are indeed all neighbors in life’s journey and what a difference any friendly gesture can make among our neighbors. 🙂


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