Who Are the People in your Neighborhood?

The word “community” makes my heart skip a beat.

I am passionate about the beauty found in life together. So it’s no coincidence that a certain song from one of my childhood television shows, “Sesame Street echoes in my head as I run errands.

“Who are the people in your neighborhood?” (if you don’t know it, you tube it)
Truthfully everything about the setting of that show resonates with me. As children, our world seems small. We find comfort in identifying those figures who we see each day and with whom we build relationships: the postal carrier, the cashier at the grocery store, the garbage collector, teacher, etc…

As our world has progressed and our lives seem to move at frantic pace, those relationships seem to diminish in quantity and quality.

I’ll admit that it’s much easier to pay my water bill at the drop box rather than in person. But last month, I made a concerted effort to go in. I interacted with the woman behind the counter, if even for a few minutes. She was a familiar face. I’ve paid in person a few times. What if I pledged to do it more often? What would I learn about her? Would small talk eventually morph into deeper bytes of her life?

Do you know your neighbor? Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:39). It’s hard to know how to love them if you don’t know who they are.

My husband is notorious for going inside to McDonalds or Dunkin Donuts on our weekly Sunday morning trek to church. He likes to talk face to face. But it’s so much easier to go through the drive through  (not always the quickest). 

But he is on to something. Even those weekly encounters with people in casual interactions builds our community. They provide a familiar rhythm and maybe even a sense of peace when all else seems to be falling apart.

So I’m working to be more intentional about expanding the boundaries of my “community.”
One interaction at a time.

Who are the people in your neighborhood?
This post is written for the Five Minute Friday Writing Community. Come join us! http://fiveminutefriday.com/

14 thoughts on “Who Are the People in your Neighborhood?

  1. Rebecca L Knox

    I greatly enjoyed reading this article…intentional and on-purpose interaction with everyday people. Amen! That’s what it’s all about!!! Excellent article!!!
    ~Rebecca visiting from FMF

  2. AliceWilliam

    What a wonderful thought you have here. And I’m challenged by the way you and your husband take intentional steps to increase interactions rather than cut them down. In this day and age, we could just live in a cell with a phone and we would be all set. So sad though right? Community matters, it helps us grow and learn and love together. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Vicki

    Awesome! I tweeted this because it is a message that needs to be heard and repeated. This coming from the one who would rather go through the drive-thru! Love your neighbor as yourself is a phrase I need to study deeper. Thank you for this wonderful post!
    Visiting you from my spot at #46 in FMF. God bless!

  4. Lisa Brittain

    “What would I learn about her? Would small talk eventually morph into deeper bytes of her life?”
    I’ve experienced this in my work at the school. Parents come in to check in or out their child or conduct some other necessary business at the school, and in those 2 or 3 minutes, they sometimes tell me their testimony. Sometimes they tell me about the tragedy their family is walking through or they share a bit of good news. I learn a lot sitting at my desk and talking with people face to face all day long. It is a beautiful blessing to me… and I hope to them because someone listened. =)
    Bless you, Stephanie, and thank you for sharing your view of {neighbor}
    # 19 on the FMF linkup today.

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Amazing what he learn from each other in just a few moments. That routine interaction builds trust without us realizing it. Something profound happens through the gift of presence.

  5. Tara

    Yes…when we got to chat face to face, you became even more a neighbor to me friend! I’m in the 51 spot this week.

  6. Christina Hubbard

    Stephanie, I want to live on Sesame street with all those nice people too! Except Oscar;) face to face is a lost art. I find myself shrinking from it some days. But you and your hubby motivate me to bring life to others. Thank you!

  7. juliedibblewrites

    Love Sesame Street and everything it has stood for steadfastly through the years. I was humming along with your first statement. Thank you for pointing out the gap between what the world wants (impersonal and easy) to what Jesus asks. Did you hear about some state that wants to start a driverless Dominos delivery car? Oh my …

  8. Amber Taube

    This is one thing I LOVE about living where I do overseas. Drive throughs are not a thing. Nothing is convenient. You pay everything in person. You have to go every few days to buy minutes for your phone. I have to go pay both my children’s school bills in person. Yes, it is a pain a lot of times, and I feel like I spend most of my time running errands, but I have mades some very sweet connections along the way. This was a good and necessary challenge. Thanks for this!


Leave a Reply