This week marked the end of years of patience and forbearance with our neighbors. Several folks occupy the apartment building behind us on the other side of our back wall. Instead of gathering up their trash to be hauled off by the garbage truck or burning it themselves, they elected to throw their trash over the wall regularly into our yard. Everything from paper products and plastic bottles to dirty dishwater, and even a worn out baby stroller ended up in a huge pile creating an eyesore. Countless times we asked, coerced, complained and warned them not to fill up our yard with their trash. Finally, we sent our lawyer to warn them to stop. At the sight of Maïtre Hérold they suspended for a short time, but gradually went back to their old ways. (The cartoon pic doesn’t show how bad the trash really was, but our internet won’t permit me to send the pics from my phone to my laptop.)
Finally, we sought a judge downtown to come and view the mess they had made. They then collected the names of all the people living in the apartment, and afterwards summoned them to the tribunal to stand before him. He sternly warned them that if their actions continued, they would be arrested and thrown into jail. Hopefully, this will be the end of such shenanigans, for one truly does not want to vex the Haitian justice system where swift judgment often takes place.
There’s a great spiritual application to this story for us all. Our ”yard” is not a place for other people’s ”trash.” Sometimes we allow others to dump their fears on us, scatter their anger in our direction, or create a stench of resentments that leave a residue in our own spirits. Maybe it’s time to draw the line and say, ”I’m not your garbage dump. Take your trash elsewhere.” Or maybe some of us are in need of cleaning up a mess we made in someone else’s ”yard.” Maybe it wasn’t even intentional, but we allowed our frustrations to spill out onto someone else. Is it time for a cleanup?