I know you have been hanging on by your fingernails waiting for my Part 2 on this topic! Oh, you haven’t? Well, here is the link to the first part to catch you up. Go Into All the World – Part 1. Have I mentioned I’m an excellent procrastinator? I can give lessons if you like. I also get sidetracked and think of so many other things to share. But, the good news is….I’m on it today. It’s important you read Part 1 to understand what I’m talking about.
A few years ago as I was opening all the shutters (we have plantation shutters on all of our windows) to welcome in the morning sun and I noticed an ambulance right next door. I got to looking and trying to figure out what was going on. (Gladys Cravatz, from the old show Bewitched) The police were there for a very long time. I thought, “oh, my, this looks serious, I wonder what happened! Should I go and see if I can help in any way?”
The house next door had sold to a couple with a daughter it seemed. I had such good intentions to go over and meet them and get to know them. We would see them walk their dog and I would try to talk to them, but, they never really stopped or seemed interested in visiting. They did seem nice though. We live in a day and time where people don’t like to stop and chat. Even when you see someone in a store that you know and you speak they will speak and keep on going? No time for chit chat. Anyway, back to my story. Needless to say, I did not know this family’s name or anything. Fortunately, I was dressed for the day and it was early morning! Score! I walked over and knocked on the door, the lady of the house came to the door and I told her who I was and that I saw the ambulance and wanted to check to see if there was anything I could do, etc. She then told me……that….her husband had just passed away in the night, in his sleep. My heart sank. I had no idea what to say. I told her I was so sorry and that my husband and I are here whatever she needed. She very graciously thanked me. I walked back to my house feeling horrible! This lady seemed to be alone as her daughter was in college and I didn’t see anyone but the police with her. I felt like a total failure to have never gone over and gotten to know her before now. My heart hurt deeply for her. I worried she didn’t have anyone. I did ask if she had a church and she said no. Oh, yes, I felt even worse!!! I kept an eye on the house and a watch out for her and her daughter. I went over the next day to check on her. She was kind and came out and visited. She was from the north and had plans to move back. She also had a church home there. I was able to pray with her. She and her daughter moved within a couple of weeks. My heart is still heavy over that experience. I was heavily convicted of not knowing my neighbor right next door and a man actually died there and I had no idea who he was. I’m sorry, but, there is no excuse for that!
I put a plan in action. I typed up a letter to my neighbors. Our street is only a couple blocks long. It curves around and we probably have maybe 20 houses. In my letter it basically explained who Jim and I were and a little about us. I also shared that I would like to form a neighborhood contact list for emergencies, etc. I put all of our contact info on it and a form for them to fill out or email me with their info. Then I went to the bakery and bought 20 lemon baby bundt cakes and had each one wrapped oh, so cute! Then one early evening Jim and I went to every door to deliver the cakes and letter. What fun we had meeting each neighbor that answered the door. We have a street with some amazing people and very friendly. We have a neighborhood where everyones garages are in the back….so needless to say, we rarely see anyone unless you are out walking. Rarely do you see kids out playing in the front.
The response was pretty good, I had enough neighbor info to send out to those that were interested in keeping up with one another. The plans are to have a neighborhood get together and even some ladies lunches. Which we had one ladies luncheon so far. There were several homes that didn’t answer the door or respond to the note I left on the door. Which is okay, that’s just the way it is. I was excited as I felt better about meeting our neighbors and getting to know some pretty amazing people. Not to mention the safety of knowing what is going on in our neighborhood and being able to keep up with everyone if needed.
The only negative thing was through the grapevine I heard one lady was upset that we had come by and wanted to get to know her and her family. She even made fun of the lemon bundt cake. Who knew? The funny thing about that was they were the most friendly of all. Maybe now that I think of it, her husband was extremely friendly. She may have just endured. The sad thing is, her husband passed a bit after all of that. Now that I’m writing this, that’s two husbands that have passed that I know of on our short little street. Interesting….
Shortly after this neighbor reach out plan, life got really busy and then the C-O-V hit the world. So guess what I need to do? Yep, I need to get back to my neighborhood project and get some things planned for our neighbors. We even have several new neighbors that we need to meet that have moved in over the past couple of years. And yes, I will do my lemon bundt cakes again even if some think it’s cheesy. I just think they are the cutest things and oh, so good!
I encourage you to get to know your neighbors and if you have certain way of doing that, I would love to hear about it. Do you have get togethers with your neighbors?
The mission field is right outside our door, plus you just might meet a really good friend!
Until next time!