Loving Neighbor Versus the Least of These

(First published on Common Grounds Online)

Is it possible to love the least of these while hating your neighbor? Or love your neighbor and hate the least of these?

This past month, my husband and I were forced into these questions.

Behind our quaint neighborhood, a rusty eyesore sits unattended. A motel formerly occupied by prostitutes and drug dealers was forced to shut down three years ago, right after my husband moved into the house and long before I did. Before it closed, neighbors remembered frequent cop calls as troublemakers wandered through the streets. Since its closing, weeds have overtaken the parking lot and a chain-link fence has supposedly kept all vagrants out. Everyone has been at peace.

Until a few months ago.

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