The Family in the Green House

30 Aug

They moved in a year ago…the family in the green house. What was once a calm, peaceful street transformed into a continuous celebration. Loud music, laughter, animated conversations, kids playing in the streets in electric cars and clanking wagons until the wee hours. Furthermore, since the weather was hot and not having air conditioning, the only way to sleep was with all the windows open. But given the new arrivals it was either put up with the heat or the noise.

Neighbors began to make comments to each other in passing about the new family. The atmosphere became tense. Some began to complain and yell when they could not take it anymore. Threats of calling the police were voiced, but it did not seem to deter the family in the green house in the least.

We simply exchanged pleasantries with the family in the green house. A wave or a “hello neighbor” as we would leave the house or return from an errand or outing in the car. However, at night when the noise would begin, our attitudes were often less than “neighborly”. Since we moved into this area four years ago, we have prayed to be a light, to have opportunities to share Jesus with those who live around us. We asked God specifically what our reaction should be to these people who obviously were determined to have a good time no matter how it affected the rest of us. We began to pray for them.

This summer there have been no parties. The atmosphere in the green house has been far from festive. There was a death in the family. The husband and wife were separated for awhile. The teenage son and his mother are often engaged in a battle of the wills. Now instead of music there is screaming, yelling and obscenities. Instead of laughter, doors being slammed. Instead of children playing, there is crying. And now we missed the parties they once had. We prayed even more.

Last week God opened the door to the family in the green house. One night a friendly wave across the street turned into a two-hour conversation with the husband. He shared excitedly about his latest business venture and then the conversation turned more personal. That led to details about his life, his marriage, his family and finally his concern for his wife who was depressed and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. David shared that he does counseling and would be willing to help in any way he could. With that we shook hands and said goodnight.

Two days later, on a warm Saturday afternoon, our neighbor from the green house called across the street to David. “Neighbor, I want to take you up on your offer to talk to my wife. I’m really worried about her this time.” So David went over and visited the family in the green house. The wife poured out her feelings of pain, frustration, hurt and helplessness. David shared about God and offered to give her a Bible. She was receptive and grateful and wants to continue meeting with David.

This week there we have heard laughter again from the family in the green house. And this week there has been no yelling. Please pray for the family in the green house.

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25

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