Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The old man down the street

I grew up in a big neighborhood with lots of houses close together. On the street that we lived we pretty much knew everyone on the street - at least a little. There are lots of streets like this across America and on every one of these streets there is the guy that no one likes.

You know, the guy that whenever you see him he looks like you just woke him from a deep sleep. He yells at the kids and tells them to be quiet and stay away from his house. He's always poking his nose in everyone else's business - he sits on his porch or hangs around in his back yard and he catches everything. He seems to always be looking your direction when you are in a situation that you would rather not anyone see you. He was just the guy that bugged you enough that you don't really like him. He's also the guy that tells your parents - weekly - about all the things you were getting into while they weren't looking (and he was) and you get into trouble.


Every once in a while you stop by and he's in a better mood and you talk about pleasant things. His children or your baseball team, he may give you a wink when he's in a good mood. Just every once in a while...but most of the time he's a pain in the neck. But he's a comfortable pain in the neck. He's part of your life.

One day you find out he died. His death goes quietly and for the most part with a fair bit of relief. Eventually, a young couple with other kids moves into the house he lived in and you make new friends and those friends become a great part of your life and they enrich your life.

However, even though you know you are better off without him and much better off with your new friends, you occasionally miss the old guy. You mourn his passing and on second thought you wonder if through his passing you are missing part of yourself...

He was bad for you, but even so...you miss him...and without him your life will never be quite the same.

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"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18