We were out in our yard one sunny afternoon, and noticed a throng of people, big and small, down by the retention pond for our neighborhood. Apparently at least one person was fishing in it, because our next door neighbor commented as he walked by that it looked like they were having a Bassmaster meeting down there. Brian turned to me and commented, “What does it take to get to where we can just hang out and have that kind of interaction with our neighbors? Or do you think we’re just too odd?”
I’ve kind of been chewing on that. I truly believe that God opened doors to get us into this house. We would have been happy with a smaller house, an older house, it didn’t have to be a brand new house. We prayed about this house, a LOT, because it was a big deal for us financially. And now here we are. The thought occurred to me one morning as I was out walking that we don’t have to go to a foreign country, or even another state, to do missionary work – this street right here is our mission field. We can reach out to our neighbors and show God’s love to them, right here where we are. But what if we’re too odd to truly connect with our neighbors?
I’ve got no problem smiling and waving as we pass. I’m fine with small talk – how’s the weather, how ’bout those Saints, whatcha planting in your garden this season. But is that enough of an interaction – enough of a relationship – to let the love of Christ flow through us and to someone who may, behind the small talk, be hurting in ways we can’t even fathom? Or will it just take time and us reaching outside of our comfort zones (because deep down, I’m really fairly socially awkward) to make those connections, build those relationships and be available when there are needs we can meet?
And make no mistake, we’re not exactly conformists. My husband wears a kilt, and you don’t see a bunch of those in this part of the world unless you’re at the Renaissance Festival.
We have the only two-story house in the neighborhood (that doesn’t make it any fancier, nor does that make it the most expensive one by any means, it’s just two stories – better use of space for us, and yes, different).
I have a Dalek sticker on my car that I can pretty much guarantee is the only one like it in the Baton Rouge metro area.
(If you’re a Doctor Who fan, you know what that is. If you’re not, Google it, and then go watch some Doctor Who and see what you’re missing out on!) We’re Baylor grads in the heart of LSU’s Tigerland. So yeah, we’re odd. We are the one that is not like the others. But are we SO odd that we can’t learn how to love our neighbors? I sure hope not. I guess all we can do is pray on it, and keep on reaching out when and where we can, have patience, and give relationships time to grow.