While this was not at our neighbors house last night, it could have been.


Usually,  being a follower of Jesus is easy.  Not that we live perfect lives but in doing the math, and looking at the research, it simply is a better and easier way to live. Absolutely, no doubt about it .    However, however, however have you ever tried doing the right thing when your neighbors on the other side of the property wall (I live in La Paz, Mexico and most properties are surrounded by 8 foot tall concrete walls in our neighborhood) party ALL NIGHT LONG.  No,  we are not quoting Lionel Richie´s 1980s hit song by that name.  I mean a real party.

Last night my wife and I turned out the lights at a little after 10 PM.  The noise from our neighbor’s party was already loud, really loud, the kind of loud you get while on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier launching continuous sorties,  or when standing under the launch pad during  one of Elon Musk´s latest adventures into space.  And our neighbors  were not even drunk yet.

Although the music was live it sounded more like the death bellows of  a herd of cattle being run off a cliff to certain death.  The music, assuming that is what it was, was out of tune, the kind of out of tune that the US military uses to drive terrorists shrieking from their caves.

Did I say the music was loud?  At about 10:30 Lois and I began hearing  a rattle and rumble, we had not heard since a 5.6 earthquake rattled our house 25 years ago.  I went to investigate.  The back door to our house, made of metal in a metal frame, was rattling to the beat of the music hurling itself over our property wall.  Neither birds nor cacophony are impeded by an 8 foot wall.  I tried stacking things up against the door in order to stop the rattle.  I began feeling like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone as I barricaded my door against an invisible but very evident enemy.  I finally discovered the solution was to open the door and place a rag near the hinges and then shut the door, wedging the rag in place.  While it did nothing to impede the raging decibels from Hell, it did keep the door from jiggling like  Rosie O’Donnell on one of those old belt vibrating machines.

And then came the karaoke.  Karaoke, at best,  is an aberrant behavior in and of itself and which in my book is evidence of  the devolution of mankind  to a less evolved state. The music already painfully loud was only made worse by the sounds of singing people seemingly  undergoing ultra enhanced interrogation at the hands of a demented sadist. 

When would it end?  When would we get some sleep?  Sleep came and went throughout the night.  Just as we would drift off into our longed for unconsciousness, a particular loud and discordant explosion of sound would haul us back up from the well of bliss into the reality of the moment.  Over and over this was repeated.  As 5:30 came into reality, we got up, the time we usually do.  The party next door was still going strong, although in the now drunken state, the singing of our inebriated neighbors was not quite as loud but there had certainly been no improvement in its quality.

Right now things are quiet.  It is 8:30 Sunday morning.  I have been up for three hours   My neighbors are now enjoying the sleep they stole from us and they are still unaware of the massive hangovers that surely await them once consciousness returns. I am torn by a  war raging deep  in  my soul.  As a Jesus follower I am told to “plug my other ear” (a coarse paraphrase of turn the other cheek.)   Everything within me, however, is propelling me to go over to our wall and turn on my circular saw and start cutting something, I don’t care what, I just want the noise.  I want to drop a thousand metal pots and pans on our concrete patio floor.  I want to fully open the valve on my SCUBA tank and let the roar pierce the silence of the morning.  I want to bring over a Pentecostal preacher  with a loud-speaker and let him scream about the tortures of Hell which our neighbors most certainly deserve. I want their throbbing pulse to slam into the hyper sensitive nerve endings in their hung over brains, shaking them  and rattling them as much as they did my door did last night.

I kind of think this will not be my chosen behavior. I wish that God had never said in the Bible that “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.”  There are times I would rather take things into my own hands. Sometimes obedience just isn´t the fun thing to do, although it is always the best.   So,  I will continue to hope and pray that my neighbors will become Jesus followers and begin to dedicate their lives to the principle of “doing unto others what you would have them do unto you.”

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