My Neighbor Bob

"If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.
- James 2:8 (NIV)

I contemplated on mowing the lawn this morning prior to the future forecast of rainshowers the following day. In fact, it was supposed to be until Thursday.

Pausing only to wipe the sweat that dripped from my brows, I kept on sweeping and gathering the leaves and the other traces of grass that was scattered on the sidewalk. Suddenly, behind my back, a familiar sound of footsteps caused by the shoes being dragged heavily on the curb caught my attention.

“Oh, Hi Bob!” I exclaimed.

“Good morning,” I added as I waved my right hand up in the air with him nodding at my direction to acknowledge my greeting.

“How are you?” he asked me back.

With a slight boyish smile as he kept chewing his gum, he uttered, “There’re also some leaves that need to be swept in front of my house…” His way of joking around with me whenever he sees me cleaning in the front yard.

“I surely will be right over as soon as I get done here!” I replied smiling back at him.

“Well, you have a great day!” we both wished each other in unison.

I went back to finishing my task as I heard the footsteps lessened and Bob’s shadow becoming smaller as he walked away. I enjoyed short conversations with him since I met him from the first day. Through those short encounters we had, I always learned a little bit more about Bob.

A very old man, happy with the way his life had been despite the trials he had gone through from the past. When I see every line on his forehead, it reminds me when he was a war veteran. He only lives with his wife now, with his kids all grown-up and are on different States. His wife, most of the time felt weak that he had been walking alone. He has a house in Arizona but he told me that he preferred to live in California because he favored the climate.

“I’ve seen it all. I’ve done it all. And now, I’m just contented with walking everyday. This is my exercise. You’ll see me walking here and there,” he warned me once.

“I think that’s great. You are stronger than me I think because you always tell me how far you’ve gone and though I’m cleaning here in front of our house, I have not walked farther than you do…”

Reflecting and knowing how his experiences have made him a better person he is today, a much accomplished man yet contented with just simple things, I started hoping to be like him.

“Anytime, I’m ready…” he warns me again…pertaining to dying.

“I’ve seen it all. I’ve done it all. I’m happy…God is good.”

“He is, isn’t He? I’m grateful, too for God, Bob.”

I know I’ll see Bob again and even if I miss him during his early morning walks as I’m brewing my coffee inside the house and not ready to go out in the front yet, he taught me so much about life’s journey.

That like him, I can also go farther and go for longer distances as long as I have FAITH and BELIEF. As long as anyone has faith, Jesus always meets us there on the road we are walking on. He is faithful to walk right beside us in this life’s journey all the way. And where is Jesus….there’s our true Home.

I haven’t seen it all. I haven’t done it all. But because I believe and trust in Jesus, I am contented that no matter what goes on in front of this road I’m walking on, I shouldn't be moved. There will be bumps. There will be rain storms. But anytime… “I’m ready.”  And how I long to be with Jesus knowing in His place, there’s no more pain, no more tears, no more shame…

one of my encounters with Bob
I glanced at Bob’s disappearing shadow and uttered a soft “Thank You…”

Thank you Lord for having me meet my neighbor Bob.
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