Our mailbox leads a rather solitary existence. It interacts with our mail carrier once a day, sees either Janice or me the same amount — and that’s it — except for the many vehicles that drive by. Only the vehicles don’t always drive by. One time during a rainstorm a car came off the road and ran over the mailbox before finally coming to a halt in our yard. Then recently, someone in a truck apparently brushed our mailbox.
I only know this because when I stepped out of our house to return to the office after lunch, there was a truck parked in front of mine. In it was a man who looked to be in his early thirties. He was writing a note he later handed to me. The note said this:
I clipped your mailbox with the side-view mirror of my truck. It seems to be ok; nonetheless, I want to be sure you have my . . .
I assume the last two words were going to be “contact information,” but that’s as far as he got because he noticed I was standing in the driveway. He told me he had knocked on the door and when there was no answer, he started writing the note. On the flip side of the note was his name, phone number, the date and the time he had “clipped” our mailbox (12:40 p.m.).
Every word in the note was spelled out exactly as I have given it here. There were no abbreviations (except for the “ok”) or phonetical spellings. He used a hyphen, a semi-colon and a comma. And of course, the spelling and grammar (as impressive as they were), were all quite secondary to the display of character that prompted them. He was a conscientious, considerate person. Though (as far as I know) he didn’t live in proximity to us, he was being a good neighbor.
I took a quick look at the mailbox, and it appeared to be okay. I told him I would look at it more when I had time and get back to him. Then I shook his hand and thanked him for stopping by.
When I looked at the mailbox over the weekend, it was a little off-center, so I shimmed it up. Aside from that it was fine. I texted the young man and told him no worries and that if everyone was as conscientious as he was, we would live in a no worries world. Being a good neighbor is as important today as it has ever been, and I was blessed by being on the receiving end of someone doing just that.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36-40).

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