When it comes to lawns there are plenty of opinions, of late a more popular one is they are a waste of time, space, and money; but for many they are a source of pride. But when that pride becomes too great it can lead to great hurt. That is what happened when some anonymous individual decided that their pride in their own lawn gave them a right to write a hurtful letter to a neighbour about the state of that persons property. Randa Ragland opened her mailbox in late July to find a letter from a neighbour, with no return address and no name.
The letter exclaimed that she should take pride and straighten up the exterior of her home. That the state of it was affecting real estate values and no one would want to buy a home nearby and have to look at hers daily. That cleaning it up would not take much effort and it offered an expletive, and a “DO BETTER!!!” to cap off the tirade.
Now, if this person had bothered to go and speak to Randa, or had had the courage to leave an identifying name or address; they might have learned a few things. They might have learned the Ragland home was struggling, that Randa’s husband had lost his job, that she had received some news regarding her health, and that her 3-year-old autistic, nonverbal, son, Jaxen, was battling stage 4 neuroblastoma which he had been diagnosed with just a few days before his third birthday. There was no energy within the home to be taking care of a decorative bit of grass.
When Ragland read the note she didn’t even have the energy to get mad. She just shared it on social media asking people to “try being kind to your neighbor” and to “say hello to people.”
That is where this story takes a turn. You see her neighbours saw the post on Facebook and decided to do something about it. Kimberly Davis Quick received a Facebook notification about what was happening in the community. A friend of hers had shared Ragland’s post. “I don’t ever usually click those, but God must have been talking to me,” she said. “And I said, ‘Oh, no, not in our community.'” She had never met Ragland, but Quick started a Facebook page in Jaxen’s honor to help organize volunteers and donations. Ragland’s lawn was mowed. A man with a chainsaw showed up to remove debris from the yard. Others went to the store to pick up supplies for the family. Some pitched in to tidy up her home.
This is what loving your neighbour looks like. This is how we are commanded to behave. Not aggressive, angry, letters. But compassion and caring and action. It’s all in your Good News Story of the Day here.
Story and Image from CNN.