Once upon a time down the block from your house lived a family named the Jones. Across the street from their house, and down the same block from your house, moved in the Johnsons. The Jones, being hospitable neighbors, brought them cookies the day they moved in and helped them unpack. Mr. Jones and Mr. Johnson shared a love for whittling and within days were very good friends. They spent their afternoons together whittling on the porch of one or the others home. The Jones family was an older couple and Mr. Jones acted as a mentor and instructor to the young Mr. Johnson.
Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Jones also became good friends. Mrs. Jones would watch the four year old boy when Mrs. Johnson needed to run errands and when Mrs. Jones needed help managing her facebook account Mrs. Johnson was by her side ready to ‘like’ every annoying cat video posted.
One day while watching Johnson Junior a neighbor stopped by the Jones home to inform Mrs. Jones that a “new” episode of the Lawrence Welks show was going to be on the local PBS station. Mrs. Jones was thrilled and soon fell in to talking about the good days with her neighbor. Time passed and Mrs. Jones realized that she hadn’t heard from Johnson Junior for a while. She searched the house high and low only to find him lying passed out on the floor with an empty bottle of moonshine that her grandfather had made during the era of Prohibition. Mrs. Jones couldn’t decide if she was more distraught to have a drunken child passed out on her great grandmother’s rug, or that this memory of her grandfathers outlaw days were on their way back up Junior’s throat.
When Mrs. Johnson returned she displayed an unhealthy hue of purple in her face listening to the story. She marched her child home and did not speak to the Jones at all for a solid week. Mr. Johnson was forbidden from the porch and found that he only knew how to whittle sticks into smaller sticks. Mr. Jones made masterpieces but had no one to admire the work without Mr. Johnson because Mrs. Jones was too busy trying to understand what to do with a hash tag. Junior learned to make cans fly off the shelves at the supermarket.
One day Junior managed to find Mrs. Johnson’s bracelet that her mother gave her before her spontaneous journey to the center of the earth (from which she has yet to return) and flush down the toilet (possibly to be reunited with its previous owner). The deed was accomplished within seconds. Mrs. Johnson’s eye welled up and she decided to eat a bucket of ice cream. Her thoughts were full of toilets, bracelets and moonshine. Then she made cookies. Then she made the long journey across the street to a home just a block from your house and made apologies.
Mr. Johnson is now learning to make a whistle and Mrs. Jones puts more hash tags up then your Aunt Mildred.
“So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.”
2 Corinthians 2: 7-8