Cleaning the extra mile

My neighbor’s transformation

1 min read
J. C., Boston

My next-door neighbor is a middle-aged man who at first seemed to me to be either aloof, cool or shy. I would see him working in his yard and just give him a greeting. He would not even look up and just say “hello.”

As autumn approached, the leaves came down in droves. I thought I’d clean up his front sidewalk and curb while I did mine. 

The following day he came in my yard and did my driveway, under my car and my back stairwell. I couldn’t believe it. 

A few days later, I saw him in his yard and thanked him for doing all that extra cleaning. “Well, they are my leaves after all,” he said smiling.

From then on whenever I saw him, he would tell me about his cat, ask me how I was, and he joked that the cleanup was over because all the leaves were down. 

Just going the extra mile (see Mt 5:41) brought me the hundredfold and reciprocal love from someone who had now become a pleasant neighbor. 

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