Love thy neighbor (except when parking)…

The street where we live is known for being the most crowded in the neighborhood: lots of people squished into lots of apartments, with lots of cars needing street parking. My sister won’t even come to my house in the evenings (she lived in this apartment before we did) because she says it is just too hard to find parking. Since we enjoy two parking spaces that are available to us behind our house we don’t feel the crunch for ourselves, but we certainly feel it for our guests and friends.

It has recently come to our attention that one of the families who lives next door to us in a four-plex has found their own solution to the parking issue. Every morning when the daughter and son leave for work in their big SUV, the Abuela comes out and moves her little sedan into the middle of the stretch of curb that lies in front of their building. With a driveway on one end and a stop sign on the other, her car sits, ALL DAY, as a little island along that curb. When the daughter and son return home, they call her from their cell phones and she comes out front and moves her car forward, thus creating two permanently-reserved parking spaces for their family.

It is maddening to come onto the street and see this big, unused stretch of curb with just under enough space on either side of the sedan to allow for any other car to park. And when you watch them morning after morning, the Abuela still in her nightgown, maneuvering their cars to own that curb, it can start to really annoy. The brother and sister are young, physically healthy, and they are driving what to me is a luxury vehicle. I think I would feel differently if someone was going to this effort to hold a parking space for an elderly or infirm family member. That would be much more understandable.

We don’t have a ton of other Christian neighbors on our street, but this family is one of the more vocal or prominent ones, which is what makes their ritual all the more annoying to me. But before I head too far down the road of my own self-righteousness, I should ask what the places are in my life where my own convenience or comfort has misplaced the gospel, for I am sure there are many. Where are the places of disconnect in my daily life between a verbal gospel and a lived one?


  1. I regularly ask myself that question at my job. Some of my Christian brothers and sisters at work do not have a good witness among our non-Jesus-following co-workers. And I find myself being critical…until I ask myself that same question you asked yourself at the end of your entry.


  2. One of the realities of the kingdom of God for me has been Jesus can redeem a person in an instant, but it takes a little longer to redeem their personality. Jesus must love the difficult christian because there are so many of them.

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