Giving Thanks Friday : The art of neighboring


Before I crawl from beneath the covers I can feel the chill in the air.  I check the outdoor thermometer which reads a chilly 27 degrees.  A peek through the blinds reveals the clearest of skies and the brightest of moons.  The sun has yet to rise so I switch on the porch light to reveals a frosty wonderland.  Each blade of grass is covered in white and diamond-like patterns coat the windshields.  I shiver while slipping on a fleece pullover and shudder as I imagine a siren in the distance remembering a similar morning a few years back...

It was a chilly December morning not unlike today.  My husband had left for work and our daughter was still asleep.  Still dark out, I slipped back between the sheets to soak up a little more heat before starting the day.  Within minutes of my head hitting the pillow I heard the fire siren wail.  Must be an accident, I thought.  And then the phone rang.  His voice sounds shaky, "Can you come and get me?"  "Where are you?"  "I got in a wreck."  "Are you okay?"  "I don't know...I'm still in the truck." 

The sirens, they are for my husband.  I pray a quick prayer while I pull on clothes before I tackle the same icy roads my loved one just traveled.  Even driving slow and careful, I am there in minutes.  They say most accidents happen close to home and we are not the exception.  I arrive to flashing lights of an ambulance and one of the medics comes toward me.  I can see our truck is upright but halfway between the highway and someones house. 

I rush toward my husband and ever so thankfully realize he is quite shaken but seems okay.  The truck had slid on the icy bridge and spun sideways into a telephone pole before coming to rest in a terrified families yard.  He would end up with a few bumps and bruises, and days later would still be removing glass from his scalp and ear, but he was okay...

After daybreak we came back to see about towing the truck but found it driveable.  My husband drove it to the local mechanics shop where it was declared a "total loss".  I followed in the car and this is when I got a clear look at the truck in daylight.  The drivers side took all the impact and that window was shattered and mostly gone.  The entire side of the vehicle was smashed in from tip to tail end with the door being worst.  The mechanic said he could not believe my husband walked away from that accident.  God was with him and we were so grateful that his life was spared. 

Later that day, as we went over the details of the accident, my husband shared that the poor lady of the house was so scared that she just shouted from her doorstep that she had called 911 and would later tell him she was too afraid to see how injured he was.  So, he sat alone as car after car during a busy morning commute passed him by.  Finally one vehicle stopped and a thin, little man approached telling my husband he recognized our truck and wanted to be sure he was okay.  Out of every vehicle that passed by that frosty morning, until help arrived, the one to stop was a, known to us (as a methamphetamine cooker), but not by us (by choice), semi-stranger, would be neighbor, stopping to help.

I wonder...would I have done the same for him?  Seems he may have known something about the art of neighborhing that I had yet to learn, and will not soon forget.  Addiction and profession aside, he was a person.  A person who still had the capacity to care.  A person in need of the Hope we profess, a fact I had let slip away.

So, today, the frost reminds me to be thankful.  Thankful for God's protection, thankful for neighbors who stop, thankful for lessons learned about neighbors and people, thankful for grace when I learn them the hard way. 

What are you thankful for?

May your weekend be filled with many reasons to give thanks!

(Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1)



  1. Your story brought tears to my eyes, Mindy. How very good our God is! I am thankful for the many times God has put in motion the necessary steps to assure that my husband is appointed to a ministry that fits the gifts and graces God has given him. Just when we have felt either overwhelmed by resistance or bone dry of ideas, God opens a way. So glad He was watching out for your hubby that day. His mercy is new every morning!

  2. Hi Mindy! Wow. What a story. Much the same thing happened to my husband two years ago. He spun out on black ice on the way to work on an expressway. The truck was a total loss. No one stopped for him. (He was able to call 911)

    Fear is such a terrible limiter, isn't it? This person in the house could have been some solace to your husband, but just couldn't do it, limited by fear. It is very wonderful that she called 911, don't get me wrong, but how sad that she couldn't stand by him.

    And look who did stop! The Samaritan, right? Someone you would never expect, someone that was probably not held in much esteem. What lessons our Lord is teaching us every day, in every thing.
    Thank you for sharing your awful morning, I am so happy that all is well. The truck can be replaced, but not your precious husband. Give him a big kiss today :)

  3. I had tears in my eyes reading this, Mindy, because facing those unexpected disasters can be so tough.
    I am always so impressed by your insight into others and the wisdom you take away from experience in life. Thanks for teaching us along the way.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Mindy.

  4. What a great memory of not just your husband's crash but of our own humanity. Those of us who remain in the house helping from afar and those of us who can surprise someone in our brokenness yet still willing to help. What a body of Christ.

  5. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. God does use ordinary people to accomplish his purpose. Have a blessed thanksgiving.

  6. First of all, your photos are beautiful. I am so glad that your husband was alright-how scary that must have been. Whoa. I am receiving your lesson this morning-we need to open our eyes to all the people in our "neighborhood". God opens our eyes in unexpected ways and we are all the same-in need of a Saviour. Hugs!

  7. Oh wow, sweet Mindy! I am ever so thankful to hear your husband was okay - praise the Lord! Also, your photos is incredibly beautiful! I do hope you and your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving - I am very thankful for YOU!

    Big hugs!

  8. What a great reminder to me on Thanksgiving Eve, to be thankful for unexpected gifts in disguise.