A google maps view of your life in relation to neighbors, if you will. Some you know. Most you don’t. Most you wouldn’t even recognize if they came to your door and said “I live a block a way and I need help.”
But they’ll never say that. We never do. Unless a child is in a life or death situation, we tend to just hunker down with our needs and our loneliness, our lacking and our unrealized dreams. And if our hearts are filled with joy and love and abundance, we tend to share it with people we already know. No crime in that. But, perhaps, a missed opportunity to spill a little of the abundance outward that it might run down the street in the form of something like “Hello.”
As you move through your day today, know this: within a square mile of every volunteer need, there are a hundred people sitting at home longing for a purpose and a way to belong. Within a square block of your home, someone is so overwhelmed they can’t clear their head enough to pray. Maybe you could help with that. Maybe you could pray for those who suffer nearby, those you don’t even know but to whom you are connected, if for no other reason than by the electric wire that powers the TVs and the laptops we all cocoon around at night; entertained, distant, isolated.
In the words of an Amish Elder: “It is impossible to love our neighbor if we do not know them, and do not have any idea about what is going on in their lives.” As we prepare for the end of daylight savings, and the loss of many of the opportunities we have to be out in the streets, active with others, in contact with others, let us be mindful of those who are faceless, nameless behind the pulled curtains, the blue flickered light. I don’t have the answers. But maybe together they will come.
This post reflects the views of the author, and is intended to start a conversation. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Or, if you’d like to hear some overall thoughts on community from Christians at THRED, you can find those over here.