A couple of months ago I ran into a neighbor of mine as I was walking Chuy. Dylan has a couple of Brittany spaniels that he walks regularly. This was the first time I had seen him in front of his house.
I stopped and we chatted for a bit. As I was leaving he said, “Keep me in your prayers tomorrow. I’m taking my citizenship exam.” He is from Ireland. He explained that he could not find fulltime work if this happened and would likely have to leave the country.
I remembered my resolution to never delay to pray. I said, “Would it be ok if I just prayed right now so I don’t forget to do it later.” He looked at me like that was the most novel and surprising idea he had ever heard. “Absolutely!” he responded.
I prayed for a good night sleep, confidence, and clarity of mind for his exam. He thanked me and wished me a good day.
In the following days and weeks when I walked down his street I hoped to see him to hear the news, but I did not find him. A few months passed and I begin to worry that the test did not work out and perhaps he had to go home. But yesterday there he was walking his spaniels and talking to some other neighbors.
He hailed me from a few houses down, “Your prayer worked! I passed the exam AND I got a job!” He was beaming and his neighbors smiled as he recounted the experience and his extraordinary knowledge of the history of the U.S. Constitution. I congratulated him and told him how good this news was to hear. I was glad I would still see my fellow dog walker on this side of the pond.
Chuy and I left with joy and gratitude in our hearts.
As I walked down the street I thought about how much my view of neighborhood had changed from my days in Manhattan. Neighbors were to be avoided no matter what country they were from. After all you might be living beside a nut-job. Best not to know. Now I look for my neighbors. I want to hear their news and celebrate with them when it is good. It sure makes walking the dog much more enjoyable.
I am so glad to be a fellow citizen with Dylan.