My original plan was to focus on women (and still is). However, Friday night I was inspired to write on wha it means to be a good neighbor. Halloween night was our first time to take our little girl trick or treating. We are walking door to door (which was bizarre seeing how I have not done that since I was a little girl. ) We go to this one house; they have a whole spread set up in their garage: cheese dip, chili, sweets, cupcakes, the whole nine yards. They apparently provide this every year for all their neighbors. Now, we have lived in this neighborhood for four years now. I have walked/ran by the this house almost every day for four years. We have never officially met the couple that lives in this house (we have exchanged a few words and a smile and a wave as I stroll by) But tonight we meet three or four neighbors we have never met. It was inspiring, and to keep with the theme extraordinary! To know there are still goo neighbors (in spite of the image the media portrays), is uplifting. It inspires me to be a better neighbor. It inspires me to make cookies for my neighbor, to play with neighbor kids just because I care. to stop and talk to that neighbor in the yard. Of course, this is not the first time we have met extraordinary neighbors. When we first moved in, our neighbors on either side of us were awesome. One would be mowing our yard before we had our own mower. The other was watching our (then) puppy for free. Unfortunately, they have both since moved, one house replaced with equally awesome neighbors. The other side, I am sad to say, we have not met. My challenge to you is this: STOP, LOOK around, LISTEN to your neighbors. Mow that one yard, walk a dog, be a listening ear. In everybody’s own way, we can all be extraordinary neighbors, so let’s reach inside ourselves and put ourself out there. The challenge for the week: find someone in your life that you do not know, or do not know very well, and go out of your way to provide an act of kindness. It does not have to be mind altering; it is the little things that make the most extraordinary ripples sometimes. Visit a nursing home. Offer to babysit a co-workers kids so they can have a break or a date. Pay for someone’s coffee or groceries.
Be sure to share your challenge and please share any stories where a stranger’s act of kindness made a difference for you.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me… And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25: 35-36, 40; ESV)