As many of you know, Sara and I moved three months ago into a new neighborhood. We also like connecting with our neighbors so that we can share community life with them. Our old neighborhood made that very easy. The houses were situated so that the living areas were in front and we got to know most of our neighbors quickly. That has not been true here.
All the homes on our current street are situated toward the back yards. We do not even have a window that faces the front yard from downstairs. Most people come home from work, pull into their garages and roll down the doors and you never see them again. That combined with my travel has made it difficult to get to know our neighbors other than the one couple who lives next door.
Lately, I’ve been praying about God making connections with our neighbors. I know the longer you live somewhere the more awkward it is to meet people for the first time. Yesterday afternoon I got some of the answers to that. While watching football with my family, we had a couple of pieces of furniture out on the driveway that we wanted to sell. One of our neighbors came by to buy one of the items so I helped move it into his home and that opened a door to get to know that family. I found out one of the renters there wanted the couch we had for sale, but couldn’t afford it. We ended up giving it to her.
Also a single grad student from next door accidentally locked herself out of her house with her keys and cell phone inside. She came over to use our phone. Unable to reach her roommates, she was going to walk a couple of miles to where one of her roommates was working. Sara offered to drive her but unfortunately no one was there. She came back and we told her she was welcome to hang out with us until one of her roommates returned. She stayed almost four hours with us, watching football and enjoying our hospitality. We got to know her really well.
I don’t know what kinds of doors these encounters will open, but I’m just really blessed that in the normal course of a relaxed Sunday God would open doors to two of the households on our street. All it took from us was a willingness to get involved, do what we can to help others, and extend some graciousness along the way. There’s no telling where those relationships might go or how else God might open doors on this street. More to come, I hope!