Eleanor Rigby and Mary

160007091 (1)“Ah, look at all the lonely people…”


My friend, Dewey, does a trivia challenge on his page.  Today the answer had to do with the song ‘Eleanor Rigby’ by the Beatles.  Such a sad song, mostly because it is so true. The world is full of lonely people.

Our neighborhood is filled with many three-story brownstones.  It’s quite lovely and feels much like a neighborhood in New England.

One day as we were out walking the dog, we came upon a neighbor who was being yelled at by an older woman.  Now our neighbor is a kindly man so we immediately looked at the source of the yelling…it was Miss Mary.  She was unhappy about where Tom had parked his car and was telling him so with great gusto.

After Tom had had enough and walked away, we approached her.  She was fit to be tied and it took a few minutes to learn her name and begin to hear her story.  She was concerned that there must be a parking space left in front of her home in case someone were to come and visit.  In all the months we’ve lived here – I’ve never noticed any company.

She’s a well-dressed, well-spoken woman who obviously loves her dog.  She also loves other dogs.  Understandable as dogs never let us down like people do.

Whenever I see Mary, I go out of my way to approach her and start a conversation – problem is, Mary often turns and goes the other way when she sees someone.  I’ve come to realize that she isn’t mean, she’s hurting and she’s lonely.  She probably believes she is protecting her heart from being hurt by hardening it against people.

My challenge to you today would be this:  the next time you see a curmudgeonly neighbor or even a stranger, kill them with kindness and understanding.  Ask them to tell you their story. You may be the only person they’ve seen in days and days and, perhaps, the only one to speak to them in a much longer time.

And one more thing, if you feel so inclined…include them in your prayers.  Mary is in mine.





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