Q Los Angeles 2013
Arts + Entertainment
Science + Tech
Who is my Neighbor?
Well past midnight one Sunday night, my wife, Karen, and I were beginning to wind down. Earlier that week, police helicopters had been canvasing our neighborhood in search of a runaway criminal, so when we heard our iron gate open and footsteps walk up to our front porch, we glanced at each other suspiciously.
"Do something!" Karen said to me.
My Canadian instincts kicked in, "Don't worry, eh? I'm on it, eh?"
I ran around the room and like her knight in shining armor; I turned off all the lights. My wife astutely pointed out that our visitor probably watched the lights go off from the front window. I needed a stealthier plan of action.
As I mapped out my newer and stealthier plan to protect my family, three loud bangs on the door shook the front room. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. I think I sprouted new hairs on the back of my neck.
"Answer the door!" Karen whispered.
"No, YOU answer the door!" I valiantly whispered back.
She ran around the room, turned the lights back on and pushed me in the direction of our visitor.
"Who is it?" I timidly squeeked like a prepubescent teenager.
"Yo man, come out quick! Somebody hit your car!"
Thoughts flew through my head. Is this true? Why didn't we hear a crash? Are they trying to trick me to open the door? Are they luring me out of my house to kidnap my boys? I heard Bob Marley's voice, "bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna to do when they come for you?"
My wife slid the deadbolt free, turned the knob on our door and pushed me outside. The door closed behind me and deadbolt slid back into place. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, our strange visitor ran to my car and pointed frantically at the driver side panels. I approached the car for inspection while he hopped on his bike and yelled, "He drove down this way, follow me!"
Bewildered, I got in my car and followed him down the street. Seven turns later, I found myself in a dark cul-de-sac lit by the sirens of four police cars.
So, the story revealed itself over the course of the next few minutes. My neighbors were sitting on their front porch enjoying the pleasant fall evening. They watched a drunk driver weave his way down our street into my car parked in front of our house. After the initial bump, he came to a stop then proceeded to slowly scrape every side panel before continuing down the block. Like crime fighting super heroes, my neighbors jumped on their bikes, flagged down a police officer on her way to work, and stopped the drunk driver in front of his house. 30 minutes later, the driver was arrested for DUI and I left with his license and insurance information.
The police officers looked over at my superhero bike friends and asked them, "Who are you guys, like the bike police?"
"No officer, we're his neighbors. We always got our neighbors back."
It was only a few hours earlier at church, like a good pastor, that told my community about being a good neighbor. "If you want to know how well you love God, look at how well you love your neighbor", I said in my most pastorly voice in my pastorly sermon with my pastorly notes.
But that night, my neighbor gave me a sermon I will never forget.
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