They were my neighbors for a day. The four men from Crossroads Mission came highly recommended to help me move many tons of river rock and decomposed granite from my carport and spread it in my back yard. They lived up to their recommendation. The work was hard and the hours wore on.
We stopped for breaks, but they wanted to quickly get back to work. We stopped for lunch which gave me a chance to get acquainted with the men. Each of them had a story of life on the road; life without a home. Somewhere out there they all had lived another life prior to their homelessness. None of them wallowed in self pity; all of them worked...hard!
At the end of the job I paid each of them, trying to be as generous as my heart was grateful for their work. On the way back to the mission, they asked if we could stop at a store. They all had something they wanted to stock up on. I remember that one of them wanted milk. When I dropped them off, I knew I would probably not see them again in this life. I'm convinced, however, based on their stories, that I will see some (if not all) of them in heaven.
For those men, that day with me was just one in a long string of day labor jobs. For me, it was life-changing. While they spent a day in my neighborhood, my heart spent a day in theirs.
Who is your neighbor? What can you learn by spending time with him or her?