Your Neighbor Has Everything But Hope

“Day one. Day one. Four weeks. I can do it. Day one. Day one.”

She wore a wool hat pulled down low over her forehead, and a giant mask, which covered everything but her eyes, and gloves. She moved to the furthest corner of the elevator as I got on and resumed her affirmations.

She interrupted herself to ask me in a rising voice, “Do you think he [Governor Walz] will extend it longer than four weeks?”

She answered for me.

“He has to cancel Christmas. He can’t allow Christmas but I don’t know if I can do four weeks. Today is day one.”

I looked at her as the doors opened. It was my floor.

I said to her as I was walking off, “Of course he’s going to cancel Christmas but you’ll be fine. Just live. You can do it.”

I got out and turned to lock eyes with her as the doors closed. She was incredibly sad and afraid. I could tell she definitely did not believe me.

I have spent the last few days thinking of that woman. I haven’t encountered her on the elevator since. I hope she is okay. She lives in my building, and if you’ve purchased my essay [only $2.99 on Kindle!!!] you know my building is on the expensive side. She lives above me so I know her rent is sky high and from that I know she has an advanced degree and she makes legit cash. I also know her life is a disaster. She has everything but hope. Read more»

Lester Cahill,“Elevator Pitch,” November 25, 2020


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  1. Sadly, Lester’s “Ellie” could be a diehard secularist who would have shed her fearful self-absorption in a NY second to morph into a rabid Karen, telling him that Christianity is an exclusionary, racist religion. SHUT UP and leave me alone! She don’t need no stinkin’ hope borne of a fantasy faith: She has a tangible mask and Caesarean/state orders, and ephemera sure beats an imaginary eternity. She may be steeped in the likes of

    • Laura,

      The early Christians lived in a world that was entirely pagan. Should they have held political-cultural arguments with their pagan neighbors before showing them the love of Christ? I doubt that we are supposed to premise our behavior toward our neighbor on our assumption as to how we think they might respond. What if the man lying on the side of the road was ungrateful? Does that mean that we owe him nothing? Did not Jesus say,

      You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you (Matt 5:38–42; ESV).

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