Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Good Neighbor Day

May 22nd is Good Neighbor Day. I'm not even kidding. I came across it in an old scrapbook magazine last year.

When I saw it on the calendar I thought it would be fun to have the people next door over for a cookout. And maybe the people behind me, too. They're nice enough. While I was mulling this over, Sunday rolled around and Pastor Guy's sermon was on "Love Your Neighbor". He talked about our neighbors being anyone we come in contact with. Are we sharing the love of Christ simply through our day to day interactions?

I realized that after 5 years I still only knew the names of a few neighbors and Good Neighbor Day took on new life. I ended up inviting 14 families, only a few of which I already knew, to a dessert party in my backyard. Even though I knew all along that this was God's idea, when it started to sprinkle an hour before the party I was in a panic. Then, 15 minutes before showtime, the clouds broke and the sun came out. And I heard God scold me and remind me that if it was His idea in the first place it would work out. It worked out better than I could have imagined.

Older neighbors reconnected with friends they haven't seen since their kids grew up and moved away. The new generation of neighbors got to put names with faces and wonder what it is like to live in the same house for 50 years. We had 40 people in the backyard making small talk, kids swinging and playing kickball, and laughter til it was truly dark out.

 Last week one of my neighbors hollered over the fence, "When are we doing that neighbor night again?" The invitations are out now. So, what are you waiting for? You have three weeks to make a cake and invite some people that you don't know to hang out. And when they compliment you on a great idea, tell them it was truly a God-thing. You never know where a conversation might lead.

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