About 12 years ago a beloved neighbor died. His nephew sold the property to a man who intended to build a large house.
As the old house was demolished, a temporary orange fence was set up to keep their debris from spreading our way. Unfortunately it severely limited the access to our shared driveway.
The man operating the large machinery tearing down the old house, boasted we would never get our truck down the narrower driveway again. I found his attitude ugly and his swearing hard to deal with. A few neighbors across the street even called our state’s Labor and Industries agency against him. This stopped him from working for a while, because he had no license.
But talking to the contractor did no good. We couldn’t convince him to restore the shared driveway. So I contacted a Christian Science practitioner to ask her to pray with me about this situation.
She said that my identity was being challenged. Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, on page 571, line 18: “Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.” We were learning that the attitude being expressed here could not touch us. Justice was the issue too. We knew God was in charge. He would show me what needed to be done. “Justice and judgement are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” Psalms 89: 14.
We prayed to contradict every challenge that came up. Our integrity was from God, not human will. My husband continued moving his truck with caution up and down the driveway. It was a tight squeeze.
The idea came to me to contact and consult our city’s offices for help. They were able to provide aerial photos showing our property and our old neighbors had shared the same driveway for 15 years.
Unfortunately the next door contractor was stubborn and demanded on going to court to settle the driveway issue. He had the money to go to court and we did not. As I continued to pray with the practitioner, it seemed wise to hire a lawyer. He told me eminent domain for the last ten years could be proved and asked me to assemble evidence for this case.
I had worked many years for the federal government and was used to preparing successful cases for audit reconsideration. In our case I prepared old photos and the city’s aerial photos and other supporting documents.
It turned out that we didn’t go to court. Instead the contractor finally suggested we arrive at an agreement ourselves.
We came up with an agreement to limit the new fence going down to the street. It allowed us to once again use the shared driveway as we did before. Also the city limited the spread of the new house by 13 feet our way. It was a fair solution for all parties.
We thanked God for showing us the way. As Mrs. Eddy says, “God’s law is in three words, ‘I am All:’ and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law.” No and Yes, p. 30.
The family that bought this new house has proved to be great neighbors. A nice ending to this story.