Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United! Grab your coffee, or your favorite beverage, your strand of faith and let’s dive into this new Monday series which I pray will speak to your heart and enlarge your territory beginning on this Labor Day!
Not too long ago, I was asked to co-write a Bible study for our connection groups at YCC (Yucaipa Community Church) on a subject I’d never really practiced before, neighboring. When we hear that word, where do we go in our minds? For me, I thought of one of my favorite neighbors, Adele, who has got to be one of the most thoughtful neighbors I’ve ever been next door to. At least once a week, I’ll get a text asking if I’ve made dinner yet – the answer, more often than not, is no – and she lets me know that once again, she made too much and wants to share. Oh, how I admire her neighboring. Each and every time my heart has been blessed and my tummy full with her thoughtfulness and His provision.
Our neighbors across the street are also fantastic neighbors, very concerned about our safety and privacy and gently protective. And of course, we do the same for them. As far as the rest of the neighborhood…well, there’s the casual wave as they go driving by our home, maybe even a hello while on a walk around the neighborhood, but that’s the extent of my neighboring! Oh, who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor! Why else would He have me write about this but to grow me and make me more accountable as one who has learned the art of neighboring, and now He wants me to share it with you too, so we may all become a community of great neighbors. ☺
Here is a truth for us all to think about which comes from the Greek translation for neighbor: “Anyone you come in contact with.” Yes, so even if you are away from home, that person that crosses your path for that moment in time is considered your neighbor.
So, what about the single mom with two energetic children at the grocery store whose voices you can hear from the other end of the store and just happen to wind up in your line when you’re ready to check out? How do you neighbor them? How do we neighbor that homeless person waiving a sign on the street corner? And what about the person that just cut you off on the freeway; do we give them a friendly finger or a sincere “it’s okay” wave? How about that cranky customer service representative on the phone that tried your ability to hold your tongue? That one gets me too often so I’ve really been working on that one!
Oh, and don’t forget those grumpy workers in your favorite fast-food chain; how do you neighbor them? And, yes, even that hard-to-work-with co-worker is considered your neighbor!
Oh, what a challenge. It’s easy to love the lovable, but when it comes to those not-so-lovable, difficult people, what does neighboring look like? Well, I found this quote by C.S. Lewis that really says it well and in the Monday blogs to come we’ll talk more about the challenges and triumphs of loving our neighbor as ourselves!
“You are told to love your neighbor as yourself. How do you love yourself? Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained!
Learning to love my neighbor…