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Perspective, perception, perfection

June 1, 2007

At church we have been talking about neighbors, barriers, brotherhood, community, & social responsibility. This is always circling around in my head because we don’t live anywhere near family and because of that Micah and I lean on each other A LOT. It’s created problems over the years because for either of us to go out and have fun, it usually means the other must stay home with the kids. The years before kids were hard too because we would want to go out but were post frat party stage, to young to bar hop, and too broke to do anything else. Luckily we really are each others best friends and that was the awesome byproduct of all that time spent together. But even best friends need buffers occasionally and that’s where your friends and neighbors come in. They are your gauge, they add perspective. Hopefully it’s more than a case of keeping up with the Jones’, it should be a support system.

You can’t pick your neighbors, at our first house we were just surrounded by heartache, divorce, and infertility. That can make it hard for a newlywed newly pregnant couple. So, when we moved to this house and I prayed…really, really prayed, every night that our neighbors would be what we needed. And God delivered BIG on that prayer. We have two neighbors that have become family, we have an older couple who have been married for decades and have gone through a lot of heartache but are still in love (rare and wonderful to see). We are on a friendly first name basis with all of our neighbors in the court. The other day I needed to run to the courthouse and didn’t want to drag the kids, so I called Jineane and she wasn’t going to be home in time, so I walked over to Gerry’s and she put down her paintbrush and came right over. Now that’s a blessing! We may not have family to call on but we do have great neighbors. Some are liberals, some conservative, some goth. But they love to see my kids, they offer up their tools for projects, and they always wave.

Now friends you can pick, but there’s a catch, they have to pick you too (and your spouse). It’s got to be a four way friendship, and then if you add in kids it becomes an exponential equation, but good friends can really make life amazing. So we’ve been working on that, and it’s surprising where you’ll find them. Some you find at church, a dinner party, or the grocery store. And I dare say we are doing well, after inviting about 20 couples over for dinner over the past couple years we’ve got a great roster of friends.

So now we have friends and neighbors we love, where do we go from here? Do you just stop and become complacent or do you seek more? Back to church, how do we break down walls and go further into our community and be productive. How do you become useful to God in all your relationships. I don’t think He puts everyone we know in our charge, but what about the people you do feel a connection or responsibility towards. I don’t think anyone feels comfortable around someone who is constantly trying to be inspiring and quote scripture or throw fortune cookie sayings around, but have you ever had God prompt you to say something outside of your comfort zone to someone else? I know I have and I’m always amazed at how the other persons face looks when I say it.

I wonder sometimes, did God make things tough in the beginning because I’m a slow learner. Maybe I’m one of those people who would’ve taken everything and everyone for granted. But now I actually try to be a good friend and neighbor, I’ll bring food, turn off your water hose, get your mail, remember your birthday. Is that what God meant us to do. I guess if we don’t have a traditional community it is our responsibility to build one?

I don’t really know where I was going with all that, just rambling I guess.

PS-There are two houses in my cul-de-sac for sale “won’t you be my neighbor?”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Micah permalink
    June 13, 2007 1:40 am

    I have to agree on our blessings, we have great friends.
    To your questions… I think we need to be more for our friends and not take on too many friends so we don’t dilute our relationships. So, for me, I think you have to pick a few friends that you want to invest in and stay cordial to others. However, that should be a God directed process. That is, let Him guide those people into our lives. It’s difficult to hear Him sometimes, especially when it doesn’t seem like that person should be one we should be friends with. Those are defining moments. Being useful to God is just staying close to Him and letting Him work through you. It shouldn’t be a matter of trying, but waiting for Him to show up when you ask. Drawing near is asking. Just some thoughts, sorry it took so long.

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