I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to be a neighbor, and why I don’t feel like I’m very good at evangelism.
Since we moved to our vinyl village, our family has not become very friendly with our neighbors. We excuse this under a variety of headings, but basically it boils down to the fact that we have very little (ok, practically nothing) in common with our neighbors, and we prefer to spend time with our friends and family who live elsewhere around the city. Lately I have been feeling convicted about how we are not being Christ to our neighbors (who don’t seem to be Christians as far as we can tell) and how I can’t be a good witness to our neighbors if I’m always avoiding them. This week I started praying about it, asking God what He wanted me to do about our neighbors.
This evening as we drove home from freezer shopping, and after I plied Josh with questions such as how to define a cult and how the church decided which books would be in the Bible (I find car rides to be a good time to raise this type of question for some reason, and luckily Josh is always game to answer or find out for me!) I told Josh about this conviction I have been feeling about our neighbors. I told him that while I don’t feel like God is necessarily asking us to match our lifestyle to our neighbors (which would involve us spending a lot of time sitting in our garage drinking Bud Light), but that I think I need to be more open to developing relationships with our neighbors.
No sooner did we finish our talk and settle in to the living room when the doorbell rang. It was our next door neighbor, inviting us to come hang out with the rest of the cul-de-sac. This was very odd, and had never happened before. Josh and I kind of looked at each other, shocked, and so we took picked up the baby and went over for a while.
I still don’t think we have much in common with the neighbors, and I still would rather have stayed in my comfort zone with my nice, normal friends, but I think it was good for me to spend a little social time with the neighbors. I think instead of focusing so much on how I’d like to move to be closer to church and friends, I need to focus on why God put us in our current house, and what He has for us to do while we’re here. Please keep this nascent project in your prayers, as it really does go against the grain for me!