Monday, March 9, 2015

Neighbors Are Good

My friend sent me a text about this scarf fence just a couple streets over.
I dropped what I was doing, hopped in the van, and drove over.

Just thinking about it made my heart beat so fast.

Our job is to be a good neighbor, and we tie ourselves in knots trying to figure it out, if we even care at all. For the first 30-some years of my life, I didn't take my calling seriously. I said I was doing just fine, when what I was really doing was nothing.

I wasn't being mean to my neighbor, so that must mean I loved them.

I was so wrong.

Now I know, and some days are better than others. But most days I feel like I need a snappier plan. Or better PR. Or more help. Or a translator.

Just a few streets over, I'm reminded that real love is seeing a need and doing what we can to meet it. That's the way we love ourselves. We meet our needs. Without much fanfare. We do it because it's important. And necessary.

Look around. What needs do you see? What can you do today to meet them?

My eyes are open. I'm ready to move my feet and do something.
I don't need to pray about it.
I don't need to form a committee.
I don't need a grant or an extra hour in my day or another set of hands.

I have all I need.
My daily bread.

My offering.


  1. This is so incredible!! Also, a perfect reminder! Thank you for sharing such an inspiring post. We just had someone move into the rental across the street - time to think of something nice to do for them. :)


  2. Wow!!! It's crazy how we over complicate love a d caring! What a great reminder and encouragement!

  3. We can pray, form committes and wait for enough time "till the cows come home" when most times we just need to move. Great reminder to just get moving.

  4. Awesome! Don't overthink it. That is all.

  5. This made my heart so happy, happy, happy. And unraveled me a bit as well. Been talking about neighboring over on the ole' bloggity myself. More to come this week.

    Which reminds me of something that I read recently in The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon (more of my thoughts on this book next time we are together):

    “I have come to believe that as followers of Christ, one of the worthiest endeavors we can undertake is to take the Great Commandment seriously and learn to be in relationship with our literal neighbors. We all need to get back to the basics of what he commanded: love God and love others. Everything else is secondary.

    When Jesus was asked to reduce everything important into one command, he gave us a simple and powerful plan that, if acted on, would literally change the world.

    This simple plan also offers a us a different kind of life. It’s a way of living that make sense and brings peace to people’s souls. Whenever we center our lives around the Great Commandment and take very literally the idea and practice of loving our neighbor, there’s great freedom, peace, and depth of relationship that comes to our lives. By becoming good neighbors, we become who we’re supposed to be. As a result, our communities become the places that God intended them to be.”

    Heaven on earth.

    “The mission of the church is to teach the world a new way to be human” (Michael Frost).

    The kind of humans that see a man who has broken ribs desperately trying to keep both his word & his oxen and drop everything they are doing to come to his aid by stacking the grain and holding a “ploughing contest” on his land.

    The kind of humans that see the single mom struggling to maintain her lawn & her life, or the elderly man living alone since his soul mate left this world without him, or the family that seems to have it all together but is actually on the verge of falling apart, or the daddy diagnosed with a debilitating disease that prevents him from providing for his family, or (insert the real names of the real people who live next to you).

    Love your actual neighbor. As yourself.

    May we bring life on the prairie and in the garden back to our world by being in relationship with & living for others. The others right next door. With one number different in their address. And a world of hurt on their shoulders.

  6. THIS. This makes my heart soar. Linking arms with you, sister friend.

  7. What an inspiring neighbor! And thank you for inspiring us with this lovely post. We can all learn something from each other.

  8. Like Nike said, "Just Do It!"

  9. What a beautiful gesture. And something I needed to read today. Because God is speaking to my heart about being a better neighbor. Though living in the suburbs, where everyone has rear-entry garages and automatic garage door openers, presents a real challenge. Just connecting requires tremendous effort. Not to mention following through with action. That said, sometimes I think we make it more complicated than it need be. Thanks for the inspiration today!

  10. A call to action! Well said. Now, am I being stupid - is the point of the scarf fence for people to "leave one or take one" depending on your ability?

    1. It was set up for people in need to take one, but others have begun leaving scarves, as well. Basically, the perfect picture of what it means to be a neighbor, which is why it keeps almost making me cry. :)

  11. this is amazing. i definitely feel like being engaged in my community takes so much intentional thought and effort. it's a slow process of changing from my self centered way of living and allowing Jesus to open my eyes to the needs around me. CHANGE ME LORD!!! xoxo

  12. Someone was doing this in Troy. Leaving a scarf in a plastic bag with a note," Are you cold and need a scarf? Please take this one." Now all we need is a glove tree!!! I like it that others are leaving scarfs on the fence too. I would love to hear the story of the gentle person that started the giving.

  13. Isn't it crazy how complicated we can make it? Love this. :)

  14.! Sometimes we get in our own way, don't we?

  15. I have come back and read this post about five times. I want to be more like this. Thank you so much for sharing.

  16. i could certainly see how you would "drop everything" and run to see this scarf fence. forget necks! --this warms my heart.

  17. It is only when we move or take a step of faith to love and do something about a need that we experience miracles. God's word says us signs and wonders will follow can signs and wonders follow us if we do not move? Our father in heaven, please grant us the grace to be on the move for your glory.

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