THE GOOD NEIGHBOR
Matthew 22.39 "And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
Mrs. Kelly, a dear departed neighbor, was a woman who really practiced what the above scripture reads. She was a quiet-spoken humble woman of God. I met her and her husband when I first moved back to the neighborhood in 1987. Both of them enjoyed their yard, especially all the flowers and shrubbery they had planted over the years.
Christmas morning, 1989, was especially beautiful here in south Georgia. It had snowed, and the ground was covered. All the water pipes in my mobile home were frozen, so I went next door to my sister's house to take a bath. No one was home; they had went to Mama's for Christmas dinner. I was supposed to meet my family there. I finished my bath, put on some warm clothes, and went out the door. Across the road at the Kelly's was an ambulance. I went over there; Mr. Kelly had taken sick. He and his family had celebrated both his birthday and Christmas. Before he died, I had the privilege of praying the last prayer for him. He finished celebrating Christmas in Heaven.
After this, Mrs. Kelly and I developed a deep friendship. She had two granddaughters she was raising and she worked full-time despite her handicap. She had contracted polio when she was a youngster. She still cut her own grass and worked in her yard.
The other neighbors and I would keep a close watch on her to see if we could be of assistance. If a big pecan limb fell in her yard, some of us neighbors would see it was cleaned up. Mrs. Kelly had a strong faith in God and she took her problems to the Lord, and He would help her. Jesus particularly loved and cared for widows.
She always appreciated her neighbors and would say, "Thank God for my good neighbors." I remembered one time I carried her a mess of butternut squash, and she cooked me one of the best pies I've ever tasted. She baked it out of love...that's what made it so good!
In the year 2002 I noticed she was becoming frail and losing weight. She told me she was tired and wanted to rest. In a few months, she found out she had cancer, but she still didn't let that defeat her. After a few weeks in the hospital, she came back to her beautiful house where she wanted to be.
In early July, 2002, I dreamed I went over to see her. I looked in her bedroom, but she was not there. I awoke from the dream and said, "Lord, you are about to bring Mrs. Kelly home, aren't you?" The Lord replied, "Yes, her work on earth is about completed."
I began to cry for her. A few days later, I went over to her house and had a good visit with her. She said, "Irvin, I want you to say the last prayer for me." A few days later, she went on to be with the Lord. At her gravesite, I had the privilege of praying the last prayer for her."
She was a virtuous woman. One of strong character graced by her humble, compassionate spirit. Every time I look at her house and see the flowers blooming, I thank the Lord I was her neighbor, and she was a part of my life.
Psalm 116.15 "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."
About the Author
preacher, author, neighbor