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A cord across the road
Like more than 1 million other residents of the Washington metropolitan area, my Annandale home lost electrical power during the “derecho” that marched like storm-troopers through the region last Friday night. Trees bent and finally snapped under the 80-mile-per-hour winds and crashed across power lines sending residents back to the Stone Age.
The storm was fickle. Some houses in a neighborhood had power, while others suffered in the dark.
Some of my neighbors had their power restored last Sunday, while close-by homes continued to swelter as they threw away what was perfectly good food just a few hours earlier.
My wife and I braved the heat for several days and were about to take up a friend’s offer of sanctuary when our power was restored about 5 p.m. Monday.
Refreshed from a good night’s sleep, I went for a bicycle ride early Tuesday morning around Annandale before coming to work.
I rode through a particularly scenic area with one-of-a-kind homes on large lots. I could hear the drone of generators powering the lucky few who thought ahead.
On one street, as testament to the capricious nature of the storm, residents on one side had power while the other side appeared to remain in the dark.
As I peddled up the street I saw an orange power cord stretched across the road, one house providing power to a neighbor, probably operating a refrigerator or fan.
It was a simple expression of Christ’s admonition to the Pharisees in Matthew.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Disasters like Friday’s storm can bring out the best and worst in us. I drove down busy roads over the weekend with people blowing through darkened traffic lights without a care for who could be hurt, but the simple power cord across the street was an elegant message of caring for one’s neighbors.