I live in a small town. While there are the older homes on original main streets, it is mostly suburbia.
I’ve been really thinking about the idea of neighbors the past few weeks.
First it was a visit with author Hugh Halter, talking about reaching those immediately around us.
Then it was a video posted by Michael Hyatt showing people in Russia helping those around them.
So I’ve been trying to figure out what I’d like to do to reach my neighbors.
Then today while I was at the neighborhood park with my kids, my purpose became clear.
Here’s the scene; Me and my kids, 5 of them to be exact, a woman and a little girl, and a mother with her 4 year old son and 3 year old daughter.
It soon became apparent that the woman let’s call her ‘B’ (no reason, it’s just a letter, seriously), really did not like the 4 year old boy.
How was it apparent? Well, she frequently went up to him and screamed at him.
Why was she screaming at him? Honestly I don’t know. He was playing with my kids just fine, and I never saw anything that should ruffle anyone’s feathers. The mother didn’t intervene, so I decided not to step in to say anything.
Soon after I saw the mother walking her two children home in silence being followed by a terrorizing screaming women.
I had to step in. I could not let this go on.
I spent the next several minutes trying to calm ‘B’ down, explaining that it was a children’s park and that cursing at small children is not acceptable, all while remaining calm.
My calmness did nothing but enrage the ‘B’ and who now had friends coming to her aid. .
If I had not been holding my 3 year old I would have been assaulted, even with my 3 year old in my arms she was pretty close.
Soon after I went to check on the mother of the young boy. She informed me that she had only been living in the neighborhood a few months and has been treated this way by her neighbors the entire time.
Can you imagine? Your children not safe out your front door? Your neighbors screaming obscenities at your preschool aged children?
My neighborhood purpose has become clear. Befriend this single mother, and love on her and her children. Provide my yard for her children to have a safe place to play, and my children for them to have safe playmates.
I may not be able to reach my entire neighborhood, especially ‘B’ who’d like to clean my clock, but I can reach this one woman. I don’t need to push the Gospel on her, or convince her to come to my church, but I can still be Jesus to her.
I’m still pretty riled up. I can’t stop thinking about the mother up the street crying because of the fear she has for her child.
I’m pretty sensitive when it comes to children, I’ve got major mama bear syndrome. But I don’t think that is necessary to see the needs of people around you.
I think if you are looking, waiting, those needs will not only jump right in front of you, but beg you to intervene.
The Good Samaritan story is overplayed, so I’m not going there. But I seriously think we live the scenes of that story every day. Every day!
It’s up to us to stand up for what’s right, no matter the cost. I’d totally stand up to that playground bully again if I had to.
But the real test, is if I do it again tomorrow. Then the next day. Then the day after that. Sometimes we get on this ‘I helped someone’ high, and it keeps us from helping anyone else the next day.
How About You?
I dare you to sit and read this and not have an image flash across your mind. No matter who it is, that is the person you should be helping. Who is it for you?
Help Me Get to Panama!
I’m going on a missions trip to Panama this July, and I need your help to get there (my current storm, lol)!
Check out these posts about why I’m going and what I’ll be doing.
Here is the link to give to my tax deductible giving fund. For those who give $50 or more I’ll be sending a one of a kind tie-dye ‘I (heart) Panama’ T-shirt!
See you next time!