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.
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