Our side/back yard neighbors had a wonderful meal sent to us our first night here and it was a delicious welcome after a hectic day of moving in. We had the dining room cleared enough to set the table and enjoy the meal with our children all together. Already, a sweet memory is made.
Then, the next morning another neighbor/friend dropped off a loaf of pumpkin bread she had made. I saw the loaf right before the men consumed it. Although I didn’t get a crumb, I did get the sweet words of her welcoming us to the neighborhood.Rob’s parents who live nearby came over bearing gifts of cake and coffee beans from their weekend trip, another sweet welcome.
I’m thinking about a Bible study lesson in which we learned that our neighbors are everyone. They’re not just the ones we like or live close to, but our neighbors are everybody. Some just live next door.
I’m reminded that we are to show kindness to them.
This week, my neighbors have also been the alarm guy, the cable guy, the AC men, the plumber, a roofer, and the movers. According to Jesus, all are my neighbors. All need to know about Jesus whether as a reminder of relationship already established or as an invitation to a new relationship.
So, as this house has seen its share of these, and because I’ve prayed we would be a light for Christ in this corner of our city, I’ve been more conscientious to “share the love” with those who have dropped in…except Friday’s cable guy…we got off to a rough start. We ended the appointment well, but it was a rough going for awhile, so even my apology to him I guess counts as loving my neighbor.
So as the alarm guy came by, I used the standard question of, “Do you have a church home?”, as my intro for sharing the love of Jesus with my neighbor. Yes, he does have one. They do Judgement Journey in LaGrange. Our AC was off on his return to get the alarm functioning after the cable/phone guy came because the AC people were here doing a system check on the furnace. I kind of felt like we had the lake of fire burning over here and so I offered him some water and a chair to sit on while we talked a little more about church and our mutual Savior.
I made some lemonade for the movers and as I would refill their glasses, I asked them each about church and if they’d come visit ours. One seemed interested and said he’d not been to church since he left home. I encouraged him to come on back and told him he, his girlfriend, and his daughter are all welcome. (I think I could hear, “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling” in the background.)
The AC guys were under the house most of the time, and because I was hot as rip when they left, I didn’t share much of anything with them except a breeze from my simple paper fan as I bid them adieu. I was mainly trying not to pass out from the heat!
The carpet installer seemed a tad sad the day he showed up. A reminder of God’s nearness in his circumstances brought a smile to his face.
I’ve got some practicing to do and at yesterday’s ladies lunch at church I was reminded again of the importance of the how and why of sharing the Gospel with others.
My soul says when I get the notion to share the Gospel with the church question lead in, to go for it. My spirit will be happy. I need the practice.
God is near. He’s near to the broken hearts who come into our homes on business or just because and He’s near to this writing girl who is blessed by God’s abundance in heaps.
God, I thank You for putting us in the paths of others so we can take opportunities to share You with the world, even our little corner of it. That’s what you call all believers to do. I’ve slacked off at times as I’ve been caught up in the busy things of this world and I’ve also withheld Your Gospel from some who I assumed wouldn’t care to hear it. So, inspire me today to be fresh in my approach and to be courageous in sharing You with all my neighbors as I remind them You are near. Thanks for the notions to share as You’ve laid it on my heart this past week. I want to be obedient every time.