Noisy, But Nice Neighbors

11-20Wednesday, November 20

By Louita Clothier of Lamoni, Iowa, USA

…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’

—Mark 12:30–31

We remember well the “ice storm of the century” in Southern Iowa. It was soon after my husband, Dick, had major surgery, leaving his left hand and forearm in a thick, white bandage.

The weatherman’s forecast was for freezing rain, but we never expected anything like this.

Soon after midnight, a one-inch coating of ice began collecting on every twig, limb, and electric wire. We awoke in the night to sounds like rifle shots, as the limbs snapped. The fields became like frozen battlefields as limbs fell, echoing CRACK-BANG. Eventually a huge limb from our giant oak tree crashed onto our roof over an unused bedroom.

The light of dawn revealed the extent of the strangely beautiful destruction. Glistening limbs hung dangerously from grotesquely disfigured trees. Every foot of our yard became a sparkling fallen jungle.

We were helplessly wondering how we would deal with the frozen chaos with Dick’s unusable hand, when a friend knocked at the door. She asked how his surgery went, and if it would be OK if they worked on clearing our yard. “Would it be OK?!” we said with a rush of gratitude. We stepped outside and saw five strong men already beginning to cut fallen limbs with chainsaws and drag them to the curb. Soon, another friend and teenage son showed up to find out if the limb on the roof had done any damage. That was a dangerous task—with his son on the sloping ice-coated roof, the father carefully removing the trunk piece by piece with his chainsaw.

When the swarm of generous workers had finished, they had piled a wall of ice-covered debris along the entire front curb. Our property looked like a medieval fortress! Then they moved on to help another neighbor. Did you know—angels sometimes carry chainsaws?

Prayer for Peace
God of the storm and quiet snow, we thank you for neighbors to love and to help. We thank you for neighbors with whom we can share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Offering Blessings of Community
Receive and share Blessings of Community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the relationships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, and people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life. What blessings flow to you from these circles? How have you felt the love of the community?

Reflect, pray, or write in your journal about the call to be “Community of Christ.” Go deeper each day as you discern what act of blessing you are invited to complete.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will gather my tools and love my neighbor by offering help.

Leave a comment


  1. Diane Akers

     /  20 November 2013

    Loved the saying “did you know Angel carry chain saws”?

  2. Marlene Krueger

     /  20 November 2013

    A beautiful story of friends helping friends; being the hands and feet of Jesus. Many have had similar experiences here in Estes as we have recovered and are still recovering from a devestating flood. Here we have angels with backhoes, chinook helicopters, portable bridges and portable potties. Angels working 24/7 to restore highways so we have easier access to the valley and the valley has easier access to us. What a blessing all these angels have been!


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